Pavilion Hall in New Preston: A Motif No 1 for Gregory James Gallery Artists
Historic Pavilion Hall may not have the status of Motif No. 1 in Rockport, Mass., but the stylish building perched at the top of New Preston center is a favorite subject for Gregory James Gallery artists.
Jim Laurino recently dropped off a new painting of Pavilion Hall as it looks today under the caring ownership of Michael DePerno and his partner Andrew Fry, whose lifestyle and home décor shop Plain Goods draws raves from the design cognoscenti.
Meanwhile, Christopher Magadini recorded its stately presence from an earlier era in the building’s long and distinguished history. And a gallery favorite, the late Woldemar Neufeld, offers his own take on Pavilion Hall in black-and-white, and also includes a corner of Pavilion Hall’s profile in his linocut of New Preston center in the days when it was home to Washington Supply. (All three of these works are available.)
Harry O. Erikson Pavilion Hall was built in 1897 as a community gathering place that hosted plays, dances, dinners, and more. Later in life it served as the home of the Boys and Girls Club of New Preston, before being purchased by DePerno and Fry, lovingly restored, and opened as Plain Goods.
The 2019 National Register of Historic Places application for Pavilion Hall, compiled by Sarah Griswold, provides a wealth of information—as well as some fun nuggets.
The application quotes a Litchfield Enquirer piece from 1874 that said, “Times are lively here. Boarders are almost as numerous as flies. They prowl the forests, clamber up the mountains, follow the little streams for trout…Every nook and cranny among these is being explored by health and pleasure seekers…Two or three times a day, they congregate at the post office, and we green country gawky stand staring, studying their style, watching them twirl their canes, and wishing we were New Yorkers with such fine manners and fine clothes.”
Contact gallery owner Gregory James Mullen for details and pricing at 860-354-3436 or by email at GregoryJamesG@aol.com, or visit the gallery.
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