contact: Susan Tamulevich, 860-447-2501

May 15, 2024

New London Maritime Society Launches 40th Anniversary Campaign

A New Roof for New London's 1833 Custom House Museum!

New London, CT--This week, the New London Maritime Society (NLMS) proudly launches its 40th anniversary campaign: A New Roof for New London's 1833 Custom House Museum. Our cherished 1833 Custom House, a beacon of maritime heritage, faces ongoing threats from relentless leaks in the roof and interior gutters. Despite past efforts, the current metal roof is now beyond restoration, exacerbated by climate change. The estimated cost to replace the roof is $600,000, of which $300,000 already has been raised. We are reaching out for donations, including with an online Go Fund Me campaign: The goal is to replace the roof within the next three years.


The roof has had a history of leaks since just one year after it opened. NLMS has an 1836 letter in its archives documenting water leaking into the building 'in buckets'. Over the years repairs have been made. In 2009, the Society commissioned a water-penetration study from a preservation architect and has been following its directives. However, a torrential downpour in December 2022 worsened the condition, necessitating emergency repairs in 2023, which provide temporary relief. Now, with a comprehensive preservation plan from Crosskey Architects of Hartford in place, we are poised to implement a lasting solution. In addition to finally fixing the roof, the gutters, and replacing the flagpole – and as this is NLMS’s 40th anniversary campaign – this design restores the original custom inspector's viewing platform atop the roof as designed by Robert Mills in 1833 and as existed until the 1938 hurricane. It also allows for installation of a WWII periscope.


Replacing the Custom House roof will cost $600,000. Thanks to two generous grants from the Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, we're already halfway there with $300,000 in hand.


NLMS invites individuals and businesses to become charter supporters of our new roof. Any contribution, big or small, will make a difference. We plan to replace the roof within the next three years, and accept pledges to be paid out across that time.

Together, let's ensure the Custom House remains sound as the embodiment of New London's seafaring history for generations to come. You will be preserving not just a building, but our community's maritime identity. Donations may be mailed to: New London Maritime Society - New Roof Campaign, 150 Bank Street, New London, CT 06320.

High-resolution images are available upon request.

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In 1983 the New London Maritime Society was formed by citizens who stopped an impending federal sale to keep NL's US Custom House intact and accessible. Today, we run a local maritime history museum, provide a free education program in NL Public Schools, and preserve the custom house and three area lighthouses.

The Custom House Maritime Museum / New London Maritime Society is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, tax ID # 061086688.

We believe in diversity and social justice, as well as strive to be a place where the entire community can learn from our shared history in order to build a more just and compassionate future.

The Mission of the New London Maritime Society (NLMS) is to protect and preserve New London's U.S. Custom House, three area lighthouses, and Long Island Sound, and to promote, interpret, and celebrate the rich maritime life & history of the port of New London and the surrounding region through museum exhibitions, educational programs, and preservation initiatives.

New London Maritime Society - local friendly authentic

Telling the stories of New London's waterfront

& preserving four historic maritime sites

CUSTOM HOUSE MARITIME MUSEUM 150 Bank St., New London, CT 06320 860 447 2501

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