The Pierson Library addition to Shelburne’s Town Hall included extensive structural, mechanical, electrical systems renovations, the cost of which exceeded the original budget for that work.
In order to maximize the funds available for the new library, a few post-construction “tune-up” projects remained when the library opened, including restoration of the town clock, new curtains and improved acoustics for the meeting hall.
Earlier this year, thanks to donations, the Shelburne Historic Preservation and Design Commission undertook restoration of the Seth-Thomas clock on behalf of the Shelburne Historical Society. The only remaining item to finish that project is installation of the wall-mounted plaque in town hall honoring donors.
But a new set of curtains for the meeting room is still needed. Curtains installed in 1994 were not reusable after their removal for building renovations. Due to sun damage, they could not be re-hung.
Without window curtains, sunlight and lights from passing vehicles at night make the room unusable for films and some programs.
The new curtains will replicate originals shown in a 1938 photograph from Shelburne Historical Society archives. After meeting with Shelburne resident Celia Oliver, a consultant on historic fabric and window treatments, the work will be done by Gabriella McCormick of Great Oak Interiors in New York for about $12,000.
Made using code-compliant color-fast modern fabrics, they will be modeled on the design and gold color of the originals from 1927, when the building was presented to Shelburne by Electra Havemeyer Webb.
They will replicate the same classic panels, pleated at the window arch, ending at the windowsill, and parted with tiebacks. In addition, to make the room more usable for a variety of programs —including the Pierson Library film series — both day and night, these curtains will be lined with blackout fabric to darken the space when the tie backs are dropped.
As was the clock restoration, new curtains will be funded solely by private donations. Commercial contributions will be acknowledged in the names of the business owners. Make contribution payable to Town of Shelburne and dropped off at the town clerk’s office or mailed to the town at P.O. Box 88, Shelburne VT 05482. Include the description “town hall curtain fund” in the check memo.