Vehicle plows into museum built in 1782

Monday, August 5, 2002

HARTFORD, Conn. -- A sport utility vehicle plowed into a museum on Sunday, destroying irreplaceable artwork and antiques on display in the 1782 homestead.

"It's devastating. This was the real thing," said William Hosley, executive director of the Antiquarian and Landmarks Society.

Built in 1782, the Butler-McCook homestead museum recently underwent a $1.3 million renovation and was reopened to the public in June. The museum housed the largest collection of arts and antiques made in Hartford.

"It was the only original house left in Hartford when George Washington visited the city for the last time in 1789. It was the only survivor from Colonial times," Hosley said.

Police said a vehicle driven by 21-year-old Wilfredo Sanchez jumped the curb, plowed into the parlor and damaged a staircase.

Sanchez was charged with driving under suspension, driving without insurance, misuse of plates and driving an unregistered vehicle.

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