Town Diary - May 2005
Peter Greenwood Converting Former Hitchcock Chair Museum
It may not be
evident from the exterior but the former Hitchcock Chair Museum in Riverton is undergoing
extensive renovations to the interior of the historic building during the month
of May. Glassblower Peter Greenwood bought the building in January 2005 for
$97,000 and plans to open his studio and gallery there in the summer of 2005.
Greenwood is a Hartford native and has had a studio in Farmington since 1981.
He is a nationally recognized glassblower, and has had exhibitions of his works
of art from glass in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and New York. The stone
building was owned by the Hitchcock Chair Company which used it to display early
American furniture, especially chairs, many of which were made in Riverton by Lambert
Hitchcock. The museum closed and in 2003 the exhibits were removed.
Greenwood will operate his studio on the main floor and a gallery in the second
floor loft. Visitors will be able to watch the artist at work from the vantage
point of the loft. Greenwood plans to retain the character of the historic
building which was built in 1830 as the Union Episcopal Church. Lambert Hitchcock
was a member of the church and was married there shortly after construction was
completed. In 1966 it was closed as a church and later bought by Hitchcock
Chair. Sensitive to the history and character of the building, Greenwood plans
to retain the church organ in the studio. Welcome to Barkhamsted Peter Greenwood!
Located in Riverton, the former Union Episcopal Church, former Hitchcock Chair Museum
currently being renovated as a studio and gallery of glassblower Peter
Above left- section of split lath wall near rear door. Above right- portion
of the original
floorboards with rope caulking. Beam lying on board
was removed for cement pad;
shows notches for floor joists.
Stain glass window on back wall. Portion of first floor removed to install
pad for glass furnace. Blue tarp is covering the organ. Photo take
Above left- another view of the first floor modifications. Above right- cellar
and back wall where the first floor has been
removed (taken from the first floor).
Above left- Floor joists and supporting bean for the first floor. Above right-
Cellar view of stone supports
quarried near Big Spring in Peoples Forest,
"Museum Changes Hands", Joyce Peck, Waterbury
Republican-American, January 21, 2005.
2) Photos by Walt Landgraf, May
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