Window World

It seems like we’re always blogging about the windows; but they are integral to the architecture and the soul of the building. On the main floor there are 12 original windows each with 8 rectangular panes and three angle cut panes. So the task of stripping and then restoring the windows is painstaking. This winter restoration was completed on four of the old windows; they were painted and hung in their original places on the west side (facing Carter Street). The sash cords were re-roped and re-weighted so the windows slide up easily.


In addition to the four main windows, there is a large round window within the peak of the building. Steve Huntley restored it. He braced the circular cuts of wood with metal plates, filled the cracks with epoxy and then cleaned and painted the wood. The colored plexi-glass was a mystery since the building pre-dated its invention. Local historian and board member June Miller did some investigating. Jane Sawyer’s cousin Brian Guy said that the plexi-glass was installed during the re painting of the old church in 1976 – as part of America’s Bicentennial celebration.


So the mystery is solved, the west side windows are all refurbished and replaced; and work has resumed on the remaining glass and frames. We’re looking forward to throwing open the windows and welcoming spring, just like we welcome those who visit 19 Carter


A model of progress

floatrenovationA few weeks ago we were contemplating a way to visually represent our fundraising drive to finish the renovation. A standard thermometer displaying the results seemed dull. Simultaneously, the person that houses some of our stuff in her barn called to say she needed the space. So we would need to find a new home for the replica of the old church, our float from Berlin’s Bicentennial Parade in 2012. Kismet! We’d use the parade model as a way to track the success of our appeal.

Then we called Shirley Woodward to figure out how. Shirley is a friend of 19 Carter and a graphic artist with over 30 years of conceptual design experience. A graduate of New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University, she and her husband Jim also own Exhibit Logic, a design and graphics company in Berlin. Her experience in three-dimensional design made her the perfect creative force for this challenge. She conceptualized a clever way to represent the tower of the 19 Carter model as a symbol of fundraising progress (like a tower-shaped thermometer).

Don Davis caulked to make the piece weatherproof, and Mi Parker and Laura Bogart painted the parade float the same colors as the actual building. Then Shirley donated more of her time, spending days painting the words and numbers of the appeal onto the piece. In addition, she created a 3-D flag that was attached to a metal piece from the building’s original tower. Now our re-purposed parade model is the perfect visual aid for tracking our fundraising progress. Click here to donate and be part of the success. Thanks to Shirley Woodward, and kismet!

Windows of opportunity

Don, Joe, Mi and Dorothy prepare to glaze a pane

Don, Joe, Mi and Dorothy prepare to glaze a pane

One of the magical things about 19 Carter is the light. And it is beautiful light, because on the main floor there are 12 historic windows, each with 11 panes of glass. The two windows on the east side were beautifully reconditioned 18 months ago by Steve Huntley (see blog entry here). We installed custom storm windows over the exterior of the ten remaining window openings, which allowed us to remove and refurbish the old window sashes.

Over the past months the window work has become a microcosm of the entire renovation project. We consulted restoration expert Christopher Crane who worked with volunteers to develop an ordered, multiple-step window overhaul protocol. This allows helpers with differing degrees of experience and expertise to work on the old windows. The large crew includes: Steve Huntley, Don Davis, Steven Read, Marty Miller, Dorothy Eisenhaure, Joe Iandiorio, Bob Barker and Mi Park. Following the protocol, multiple people can work on the project on different days and times, all with the same quality result. The group is priming and painting the frames and mullions that were previously prepped, as well as re-installing the glass. Most of the original antique glass panes were salvaged, and some smaller panes were re-cut by Don Davis. He estimates that there will be enough original glass to replace all 44 panes in the four west-facing windows in the front of the building, as well as all 33 panes in the 3 south-facing windows.

And this is why the windows are a great example of the community involvement and eclectic talent required to renovate this old church. There are opportunities large and small to help with time and talent; and we’re committed to optimizing the skills of every volunteer. Everyone can participate in the magic and bask in the light of 19 Carter.

Prepped windows await priming last summer

Prepped windows await priming last summer

painted-exteriorFall is here, and 19 Carter is bursting with all the best colors of the season. We started painting the building’s exterior in the Fall of 2014, and now the entire structure has (at least) one coat of fresh, vibrant color. We love the four new hues; Butterscotch Sundae, Country Redwood, Beverly Hills Yellow and a custom blend we call Persimmon.


Ronnie Owens

The work was done exclusively by one individual, Ronnie Owens. We were introduced through our construction supervisor Paul Mikelk when local painters couldn’t fit us into their schedule. Ronnie has been painting for decades and embodies the patience and skill needed when using four colors on a building. The effort is demanding, detail oriented and –we believe– worthwhile.


Although more work is needed to complete the exterior, the outside of the building now projects the same bright appearance as the open, interior lower level. We believe this fresh, happy image positively impacts all of Berlin Center. And like the town of Berlin, 19 Carter is open and welcome to all visitors. Stop by.

anniesloan25contestwinner19 Carter was recently chosen as a winner of an international contest and will receive free paint from the British company Annie Sloan Interiors Ltd. Annie Sloan created her own brand of decorative paint (called Chalk Paint®) twenty-five years ago. The company’s #25 Project contest was formed to celebrate that anniversary. Her products are exclusively available through a network of over 1,500 independent stockists located in over 40 countries around the world. The local distributor, Sally Barker, owner of Berlin’s Counting Sheep Antiques, nominated 19 Carter, and we were chosen as one of 25 winners among 300 buildings around the globe.

Ms. Sloan wrote about the winning contestants in her blog: “Each one is completely diverse in its use and size, however the one thread they all have in common, from the kids creche in South Africa to the specialised dementia center in The Netherlands, is that they are an absolutely vital part of their communities.” We’re proud to be recognized us as an integral part of Berlin and surrounding towns, fulfilling our mission as a new kind of community place for families, teens and seniors to meet, gather and play.mainhall

The volunteers at 19 Carter are now focused on completing the renovations on the main floor, and the donated paints will expedite this phase. After collaborating with Counting Sheep Antiques, we have already chosen the paint colors for both the tin ceiling and walls.

Remaining work to complete this floor includes painting, plus restoring the historic woodwork and windows, and installing heating units and an accessible lift. The generosity of Annie Sloan Chalk Paints® and Counting Sheep Antiques is a wonderful addition to the hundreds of businesses that have supported the renovation of 19 Carter.

art for amazon smile blogFree money, just smile.

Amazon has an amazing program that helps customers support non-profit organizations. It’s called Amazon Smile. If you shop at Amazon and choose 19 Carter as your preferred charity, we’ll receive a small donation–at no cost to you. That should make us all smile.

Amazon Smile is a simple and automatic way for you to support 19 Carter. Every time you shop, the Amazon Smile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the eligible purchase price to 19 Carter. When you shop, all the products and prices are the same as at Amazon.com, and millions of products are eligible for donations.

For 19 Carter to benefit from this program, before you shop, go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer and select us as your charitable organization. The site will remember your selection, so every future, eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation.

smile_share_logo._CB366548718_UY80_We believe the 9,000 people that have been through 19 Carter since we opened have all left with a smile. Choose 19 Carter. Buy. Donate. Smile.

Click on picture for larger view

Richard’s garden

Last summer a few of our wonderful 19 Carter volunteers created a beautiful garden oasis above our septic system. Plantings included donations from private gardens as well as from Indian Head Farm. Last week Frank and Beth Brewer continued the beautification of 19 Carter by planting some of Paul Mikelk’s day lilies along the pathways and at the south edge of the property. These blooms will annually frame this beautiful place. And the Brewers have also volunteered to work some magic on the south side “lawn” this fall. What has been some topsoil with weeds and pebbles will become another clean, green space. Thank you, Beth and Frank!

Then, last week, on the other side of the building, Richard Wheeler of Indian Head Farm sowed a raised bed with a plethora of colorful plants. The greens, reds, yellows and pinks complement the building’s exterior paint scheme. Plants include daisy, petunia, impatiens, coleus, begonia, lily and fescue. Both Richard’s time and the blooms were donated. Thank you Richard, and thanks to Indian Head Farm, for this bright, cheerful garden that also serves to camouflage our propane tank.

And, last but certainly not least, many thanks to Kevin Pond for his ongoing efforts at weed-whacking, and to David Walker (and his Kubota) for general grounds keeping.

The grounds of 19 Carter may not be highlighted on the Berlin Garden Tour this year, but someday we just might be featured! (By the way – the Berlin Garden tour is presented by the Friends of the Berlin Public Library and is this Saturday July 9th. Click here for the flyer, and buy your tickets at 19 Carter or at the Berlin Public Library).