Historical Society opens doors to notable buildings
By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Thu., May. 2, 2013
Many people would love to get a sneak peek into many of the historical buildings in town - to peer into the windows of the Mather House, gaze at the architecture of the Tuttle House or sit in the seats at the theatre in the Plaza building.
All three of these buildings were opened up to the public on April 27 by the Windsor Historical Society.
“While the weather helped, I’d like to think it was the draw of Windsor’s historic structures that brought people out,” said education curator Christine Vida. “Grace Episcopal Church and the Mather House at the public library have anchored their corner of the Broad Street Green since the 1860s, and those organizations have worked so hard to preserve their historic structures,” she said. “Similarly, the Plaza is a touchstone building on Broad Street – both structurally and in people’s memories.”
The Mather House, built in 1777, was the original Windsor Public Library and has taken many different shapes over the years. For many years, it was both a library and a residential building. Eventually, the library purchased the whole building. As people walked through the building, they were surprised by the major changes and growth the library has seen in the last three decades. The whole library was once housed in a room the size of a large bedroom.
The Tuttle House, built in 1865, was the home of the Rev. Reuel Tuttle, the first resident priest. Now a part of the Grace Episcopal Church and used for Sunday school classes, the house boasts high ceilings, original fireplaces and beautiful eaves and windows.
But the most anticipated building to examine inside was the theatre in the Plaza building. Sitting unoccupied and decaying for years, the building carries inside of it countless memories for the town of Windsor. Many Windsor residents came to see it and recalled times when they came and saw a movie in the hall.
Now smelling distinctly like mold and decay, the theatre has really not lost any of its 1929 charm. Neill Sachdev and his family are in the process of re-opening the theatre to the public, and Vida says that they are going to be “bringing that space back to life.”
Sachdev says that he has big plans for the site, including renting out the second floor, which they are currently working on, for office space and eventually a coffee house as well. “We will be working on refurbishing the coffee shop,” he said. “We are working with the town.”
And most importantly, he added that he is “opening it up as a theatre again, as an independent and foreign film theatre and a performance venue.”
Those touring the building were excited by Sachdev’s plans. “There’s not much to do in Windsor,” said Richard Quintero. “I’m impressed. You got me.”
The Plaza building is on the National Registry, and Sachdev optimistically hopes to have the building open by the end of 2013.
“Since the society’s mission is to inspire public awareness, we thought this tour would be the perfect way to highlight these preservation efforts and satisfy people’s thirst for knowledge,” said Vida.