Geffrye Museum gets £12m National Lottery windfall for its expansion at Shoreditch

PUBLISHED: 15:26 22 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:26 22 March 2017

Geffreye Mueum at Shoreditch

Geffreye Mueum at Shoreditch

Geffrye Museum

Ambitious expansion plans to rejuvenate east London’s historic Geffrye Museum have taken a major step forward today with a £12.3 million National Lottery windfall.

Impression of how restored Geffrye Museum library will lookImpression of how restored Geffrye Museum library will look

The cash means an £18m rejuvenation scheme for of the Grade I-listed museum and gardens can now go ahead.

Museum bosses have already raised more than £4m themselves for the project, first revealed in the East London Advertiser two years ago.

“We can now press ahead with raising the last £1.5m to make our vision a reality,” Museum director Sonia Solicari declared.

Cross section plan for museumCross section plan for museum

“We’ll make ‘The Geffrye’ a more inspiring place with support from trusts and foundations.”

Less than a third of the buildings in the museum grounds at Kingsland Road in Shoreditch, originally built as 18th almshouses, are open to the public.

The scheme plans to open up at least 70 per cent, with new spaces for a library, gallery, reception, museum café and additional newly-built learning and event spaces.

1906... Geffrye Almshouses before being converted to the museum1906... Geffrye Almshouses before being converted to the museum

The museum opened in 1914 when the London County Council had been persuaded by the Arts and Crafts movement to convert the almshouses into a museum to the East End’s furniture industry.

It housed a collection of high quality furniture aimed at inspiring furniture trade workers to improve their craft skills.

The museum tells the evolving story of British domestic life over the last three centuries, each era set in its own room in chronological order from one end of the terraced building to the other, starting at the year 1600 and coming up to the present day.

Curator preparing Edwardian period roomCurator preparing Edwardian period room

The periods covered include Georgian, Regency, Victorian, Edwardian, Wartime austerity and contemporary.

Each century has a display of a typical town house of the period, type of furniture made at the time and the main changes in style.

Museum visitors get the chance to sit on a replica chair for each era—which get more comfortable with each new century!

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