Stratford Town Council members Tuesday approved $8,600 for work on the mansion known as the 'White House' that sits at the entrance to Shakespeare Theatre on Elm Street.
The money will be allocated as follows: $3,800 for a fireplace hearth; $1,850 for a false chimney; and $2,950 for wood replacement.
"I understand this building," said Chairman Joe Kubic (R-9). "We've realized it's in good shape [and] going to be a gem for the community."
"I had a long discussion with the architect, he's impressed," said Councilman Matt Catalano (R-3). "This will be a tremendous asset to the town of Stratford."
In July, Town Council members approved a "local historic property" designation for the mansion, a move which gives the Greek revival building, circa 1840, a better shot at securing state and federal funding through preservation grants, which can help pay for repairs and renovations.
Theatre supporters believe the defunct building can be transformed into a not-for-profit center for the arts, which can display Shakespeare Theatre archives such as those showcased at an exhibition at the Fairfield Museum and History Center.
In an effort to explore potential options for the fabled Stratford theatre, the town hired an agency called the Arts Consulting Group. In April, the agency presented a few ways to go about breathing new life into the long-shuttered theatre that once staged plays starring famous actors, the likes of which included Katharine Hepburn.
The concepts ranged in price from $3.2 million for a "temporary," summer theatre that would host 30 to 40 events a year, to $29.6 million for a venue that would be open year-round, put on 192 events a year and potentially rake in $2 million in annual revenue. All options would rely heavily on an ambitious fundraising campaign.