The Grange Reopens to the Public
With the reopening of the Transformed AGO, The Grange has shed its protective covers as well. AGO members are now welcome in the Norma Ridley Members’ Lounge that occupies part of the ground floor of the historic building. The stylishly renovated space provides an ideal ambience to relax and contemplate over refreshments, with a picturesque view of Grange Park.
Other parts of the building are once again accessible to the general public. This includes the Main Hall with its large, 19th century painted, etched window displaying the Boulton family crest, the Goldwin Smith Library and the historic basement.
Site coordinator Jennifer Rieger notes that “The Library is now much closer to its original state, with the addition of a large bequest of historic books that has been added to the shelves.
But the transformation has also offered some unexpected opportunities. “Since we were closed to the public, we were able to proceed with some excavations into the foundations of our building. Indeed, a number of evocative artifacts are now being prepared for display. I am very excited about this development.”
For a limited time volunteers will conduct public tours through the ongoing excavations. Excavation Coordinator Dr. Chantal Lee of the Anthropological Services Ontario says: “We appreciate the public interest in this evolving story. Obviously we have to respect the integrity of the site, but there is no doubt that a certain level of access to our work will help shape a broader awareness.”