Two of the City's oldest buildings are now undergoing renovations.

Local officials and historical preservationists gathered in front of the storied Seaman's Bethel and Mariner's Home Complex on Johnny Cake Hill to break ground on the $2.6 million renovation project that will completely restore both structures.

Fred Toomey, President of the New Bedford Port Society, says this project to save the buildings may be the City's last chance to keep them. "If we hadn't done what we're doing right now, ten years down the road we wouldn't be able to look at either of the buildings," said Toomey. "That's how deteriorated the interior was."

The project will restore the structural integrity of both buildings, while adding handicap access and an elevator to both buildings, new wiring, and heating and ventilation systems.

The restoration, overseen by the Waterfront Area Historic League (WHALE), should be completed before the end of 2017.

The funding for the project is a culmination of local, state, and federal funds.

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