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New Solarium Brightens Up Colby-Curtis

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--May 15, 2013.

larger_solarium1_0.jpgAn elegant gathering was held on Friday evening at the Colby-Curtis Museum in Stanstead to celebrate the long-awaited reopening of the completely refurbished solarium. The project was begun last fall when the original century-old sunroom off the south side of the museum building was demolished. Eight months (and about $200,000) later, it is complete.

Ann Montgomery, the museum's president, welcomed a crowd of about fifty people to the official opening of what will now serve as the Colby-Curtis' new and improved tea room. "We are very pleased with the results of all the months of work, and as you can see, this new solarium is gorgeous," she said.

larger_solarium2.jpgMontgomery then introduced Building Committee Chair Harry Isbrucker, who gave a short summary of the project. "From the outset, there were two conditions we absolutely had to meet," Isbrucker said. "The first was that the new solarium had to be big enough to accommodate 56 people seated at tables. And as you can see, it's quite a bit larger than what we had before." The second condition, he explained, was that it "had to be within keeping of the architectural style of the rest of the building."

Isbrucker joked that the museum would not be showing any films in the new sun room. "We've just spent about $60,000 on windows; to buy curtains for all those windows would cost us at least $6,000 -- and we're a little short of money right now."

larger_solarium3.jpgIsbrucker had special words of praise for general contractor Claude Francoeur who, he said, did a "wonderful job with every little detail." He also mentioned Rick Fabio who crafted all of the mouldings, columns and other interior woodwork, and architect David Leslie.

On hand for the ceremony was Orford MNA Pierre Reid, whose personal coin collection will be the subject of an new exhibition about to be unveiled in another part of the museum.

Also present was Paul Bannerman, of the Bannerman Family Foundation, which generously funded the project. "We were not allowed to mention your name before. Now, at last we can thank you publicly," Isbrucker said.

For more information, call the Colby-Curtis Museum at (819) 876-7322.