Greater Litchfield Preservation Trust member Victoria Sansing presented the 2020 awards of distinction to Lee Swift, Jim Lawson and Eileen Schmidt at West Cemetery as the 2020 meeting was held via Zoom. Linda Searles was unable to attend.
Hundreds of hours of labor in Litchfield’s two most historic cemeteries last spring and summer earned four dedicated volunteers recognition from the Greater Litchfield Preservation Trust..
Schmidt and Swift began the job and were later joined by Lawson and Searles. They cleaned 650 gravestones, many of which are more than 200 years old, in East Cemetery and West Cemetery using a biologic cleaner known as D-2. The cleaning solution removed years of dirt and lichen on the stones without damaging them and left the inscriptions on the stones readable. So delicate was the work that it often required use of a toothbrush to clean the stones.
In addition to cleaning graves, the volunteers have added images and information to findagrave.com, an Ancestry.com website, that preserves the legacy of the individuals buried beneath the gravestones that have been cleaned.
The successful transformation of the previously-vacant and rundown Litchfield County jail in the center of Litchfield was recognized by the Greater Litchfield Preservation Trust on Monday.Developer Russell Barton, who led the effort to turn the landmark 19th-century building into an attractive location for business and residence, received the GLPT’s annual Preservation Award during the trust’s membership meeting at the Litchfield Historical Society.Barton’s partners in the project were his wife, Susi Stone, and Robert Meyers and Harriet Saltzman of Cornwall. They bought the old jail from the state in 2014 and gained local approval to turn it into a viable location for business and residential apartments.The Preservation Award was presented by GLPT member Victoria Sansing, who praised Barton for the quality of the renovation and its positive effect on the town.“This project was not an easy one, but in the end it turned out to be a very good example of what can be done when everyone works together,” Sansing said. “There was willingness to listen and work together to get a result that is good for the town.”Barton described the project as a large undertaking but one that was worth it given the outcome. The centerpiece of old jail is the Marketplace Tavern that opened last March.
Art Schmidt received an award for his work to repair and keep the courthouse tower clock in good working order. His award was given in appreciation for his limitless volunteer efforts toward the maintenance, restoration and preservation of the building.
Jim Katzin received an award for overhauling the 1930 Seth Thomas 30-day clock in the first floor of the former Litchfield County courthouse, which is owned by the GLPT. The award was also given in appreciation for Katzin’s heroic volunteer efforts to save the clockworks and preserve the tower bell in the building.
St. Michael’s Church for their quality renovation project that featured its new west-facing stained-glass window. South Street, Litchfield.
John McKenna in recognition of his keen interest in our shared objectives and his exceptional press coverage of all events, cultural, political, athletic and educational within the Litchfield area.
The East Litchfield Village Improvement Society for their steadfast and courageous efforts to identify, study, and preserve the historical and architectural treasures of East Litchfield exemplified in their work to preserve and restore the East Litchfield Chapel.
The Forman School for their outstanding preservation, restoration, and adaptive reuse of The Bronson Property on North Street in Litchfield, Connecticut. On this site stood the early iron foundry of Morse and Carrington. It is believed that this company forged the anchors for John Paul Jones’ Navy.
Masonic Lodge #11 For extraordinary efforts to preserve and restore their historic building at 17 Meadow Street, Litchfield, Connecticut.
David and Deborah Beauregard, 272 South Street For their architecturally appropriate addition to a historic house.
Perley H. Grimes, Jr. – The Greater Litchfield Preservation Trust in acknowledgment of the many years of your devotion to its goals and your uninterrupted service as a member of its Board of Trustees and Officers and your expertise as a wise counselor, legal consultant and inspiring leader during that time wishes to demonstrate the organization’s gratitude for the exceptional benefits it has received from you. This Award of Appreciation is bestowed by the current Board of Trustees and Officers but they are joined by former members who are equally grateful to you.
David and Deborah Beauregard, 272 South Street. For their architecturally appropriate addition to an historic home.
George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis, for the restoration of the old firehouse in Bantam and the adjacent property and their conversion to an ice cream bar (and, prospectively, a wine bar)
The Sidewalk Committee, the Litchfield Board of Selectmen, the Litchfield Public Works Department, and the firms of Martin Laviero Construction and Clover Construction for the restoration of the sidewalks along “Merchants’ Row”
Lisa and Ray Parker, for significant enhancement of the exterior of their home at 314 South Street.
Jessica and Jason Travelstead for architectural improvements they have made to their home at 228 Meadow Street
Perley Grimes, Dmitri (Tim) Ilyinski, and Victoria Sansing, as members of the Trust’s Board, for their “exceptional skills and energies provided to Project 2000, the subterranean relocation of utility wires on “Merchants’ Row.”
Priscilla and Norman Hillman, for their careful and sensitive preservation work on The Corner House, aka, The Butler House, and the Carriage House which they reunited as one property.
Bruce Schnitzer, principal partner of The West Street Yard, for the rescue of the former Switzer Lumber Yard from neglect and deterioration
Carol and Malcolm Bramley for their painstaking and meticulous restoration of the “Catlin House” at 125 Chestnut Hill Road. “It is a wonderful example for residential preservation,” said Victoria Sansing.
The Seherr-Thoss Foundation for its enlightened and prominent role in local projects which have greatly enhanced Litchfield’s character. Susan Magary accepted on behalf of the Foundation