Seamens Bethel
downtownnb.org

Two historic New Bedford buildings, including one made famous in Herman Melville's ``Moby-Dick,'' are a step closer to being renovated. The Waterfront Historic Area League has that JMBA Plus Architects of New Bedford has drawn up plans for the $2.3 million project to restore and ultimately connect the Seamen's Bethel and Mariners' Home.

The Seamen's Bethel, a place of worship for mariners that was called the Whaleman's Chapel in ``Moby-Dick,'' was built in 1831 and renovated and reopened in 1867 after a fire. The Mariners' Home traditionally provided lodging to seafarers between voyages.

A press release from WHALE indicates the project includes a glass-fronted connector linking the buildings and an elevator making both accessible to the disabled. Structural alterations to the buildings will be minimal.