The Brownstone Quorum, Inc. is an outgrowth of an informal group of Portland residents who gathered at the Portland Library in late 1999 following the Town’s acquisition of the brownstone quarries and riverfront property. The group’s goal was to provide assistance and support to the town government as they determined the ultimate use of these properties.
Three important events occurred in 1999 and 2000 that affected decisions about property use. First, The National Park Service authorized John Monroe of the NPS Rivers and Trails Program to assist Portland in the planning. He began work with the volunteers in December 1999 on an ambitious program of information - gathering, visioning and information-sharing.
Second, The Department of the Interior, in May 2000, declared the Portland Brownstone Quarries a National Historic Landmark. The volunteers commenced site work and presented the first Quarry Focus Day to introduce residents to their newest park. In July, they participated in a planning Charrette organized by John Monroe. In October 2000, the volunteers, now known at the Brownstone Quorum, hosted the ceremony and reception dedicating the quarries as the Portland Brownstone Quarries National Historic Landmark.
Third, in October 2000, the Portland Board of Selectmen authorized the Quorum to make modifications to the properties, to use the properties for public events, and to participate in the formal design process to be funded by a $50,000 grant from the State of Connecticut.
Following the action of the Board of Selectmen the Quorum began the process of becoming a non-profit corporation with 501c3 status which was completed in January 2002.