The restoration and remodeling of buildings with sentimental historical value add to a community’s heritage and sense of pride. These buildings are landmarks conveying history and evoking stories passed down through generations.
When a building of historic value is abandoned, it can have a negative impact on the vitality of the community. When in October the state and vacancy of the church at 1274 Main Street was approached by the zoning administrator, the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists revealed that the property was to be put up for sale. . It wasn’t long before the late 19th century church on Main Street was sold to Kevin fontecha.
The building stands in a prominent location on the historic Main Street, next to the Fairbanks Museum, and within walking distance of Athenaeum, Catamount Arts, and the St Johnsbury Academy will be redeveloped for new purposes by the new owner. The church has entrance halls, an open nave with a high ceiling and a theater-style sloping floor.
Kevin shared, “I am intrigued by the craftsmanship of churches and the attention to detail as an event space. After a complete renovation, the Steeple On Main will be used as a mixed venue. The venue already has a logo, designed by Kevin, a web designer who started a web design and development company in 1999 after serving in the military. Catering to customers looking for professionally designed and responsive websites, no code, www.SiteGo.com provides graphic design and printing.
As AirBnB, the lower level of Steeple On Main will feature bedrooms and an open plan kitchen. The nave will be renovated for use as a meeting and event space, hosting everything from business meetings and conferences to bridal showers and celebrations. “The renovation is extensive. Before you can start, there is some work to be done to clean the building. All the content was left, including the benches, ”added Kevin. Expect a rebirth with the new The bell tower on the main located at 1274 Main Street in St Johnsbury.
In addition to Steeple On Main, Kevin Fontecha has another hard-hitting project in development; he is renovating what used to be the home of the popular restaurant Bailliages sur Moulin until it closed in August 2018 due to increased operating costs. Kevin said: “I spent most of the year demonstrating inside the building. The old mill building has a flat roof with a drainage system that directs water through pipes down through the building. Over the years it has remained vacant, without heating, the pipes froze, cracked and caused extensive water damage.
He shared that the project has been hampered by the additional expenses of other people who take advantage of the dumpsters by filling them with their trash, from household trash bags, from furniture to tires. That said, the challenges don’t deter Kevin from the original plan to give back some appreciation to the mill and use it for the community. He strives to work with the local people and has contracted with Plumbing Trombley for heating and plumbing systems, contractors Bruce cushman and Mike cuts, and CFW electric.
“Phase 1 is the catering area that needs all new and reliable kitchen equipment. Phase 2 will renovate the upstairs with an office and storage space for the restaurant, and maybe an upstairs apartment or flexible use space, ”Kevin said adding,“ We’re on the right track. for an opening scheduled in April to introduce a restaurant and pub with an Italian Flavor. the Mooselook Restaurant at Concord was reopened by Kevin after extensive renovations. Together with Mooselook’s 28-employee staff, they will conduct cross-training for the new restaurant and, using universal systems and training, will capitalize on the efficiency gains. The executive of Mooselook Chief Keith Stewart will oversee both sites.
The Vermont Table Company was started 6-7 years ago by two close friends of Middlebury College; owner Dena Greenwood manages sales and marketing while owning Doug Clarner is responsible for manufacturing. The company produces custom tables handcrafted from locally sourced natural materials with a finished product that is as sturdy and functional as it is elegant and richly aesthetic. Specializing in handcrafted recognition gifts, Vermont Table Company serves a niche market in academia with its value for service awards, donor appreciation and milestone recognition, admissions or office furniture. alumni, awards, and high-end bookstore sales items.
The fallout effect of the Covid shutdown and the resulting decrease in in-person celebrations have slowed demand for Vermont Table Company products. Dena shared, “We are trucking, picking up as academic institutions start to pick up on some pre-pandemic events and we expect to see growth from the economic comeback,” adding, “We’re a good small business… Doug does. with the tables in hand, build the table and do all the finishing work.
Doug is a highly trained carpenter, member of the Guild of Vermont Furniture Manufacturers, and a one-man operation to Clarner woodwork. Doug also manages sophisticated engraving equipment that engraves locally acquired granite, slate or marble. Dena added, “Vermont Table Company cutting boards are beautiful works of art. Mine is hanging on the kitchen wall! Made from cherry and flamed maple, the cutting boards are described by Dena as “buttery soft”. Vermont Table Company sourced parts from Built by Newport furniture manufacturing until recently and are now looking for a new partner to manufacture the parts, legs and aprons. In the meantime, Doug will oversee and take over production for the small business. For more information please visit www.vermonttablecompany.com or for general inquiries and sales call (802) 462-3574 or [email protected]
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