Historic Pine Orchard Chapel undergoes necessary renovation | News

BRANFORD — History has a way of repeating itself. At least in the case of the Pine Orchard Union Chapel.

Back in 1897, money was raised for the construction of the chapel. The Wallace brothers donated the land, neighbors held parties to raise $1,600 and children dug and sold clams and raised nearly $7 for the project.

Now, with extensive renovations needed to preserve the building, neighbors are again working together to raise money. And, they will see their donations at work when the groundbreaking for the restoration project takes place 11 a.m., Oct. 19, at the chapel.

This past summer, Sienna Torella raised some $4,000 selling homemade, fresh pink lemonade, along with tie-dyed masks, bandanas and shirts.

Her slogan, “Raise a Glass of Lemonade to Save Our Beloved Chapel.”

The Mary R. Tisko School third grader talked about the importance of this neighborhood.

“People have a lot of weddings there and we have arts and crafts there and it’s just really fun,” the 8-year-old said.

“It would be sad and no one would really get married,” she said about the possibility of the chapel not existing in her neighborhood.

Carole Brown shares this love of this historic building and with her matching gift up to $100,000, Sienna’s donation will double.

“Especially at that age to think they were able to make that much money and then have it matched makes them so much happier,” she said of the lemonade stand. “They should be proud.”

Brown remembers attending church services when she was a young girl, while summering in Hotchkiss Grove with her family.

“It’s just so much a part of the area here,” the 85-year-old said.

“Architecturally, it’s a gem of Queen Anne Victoria architecture and there’s so many memories for so many people,” she added.

While originally built

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Downtown’s historic Hotel Paso del Norte opens after long-delayed renovation

After more than three years of a sometimes troubled, multimillion-dollar renovation, the 107-year-old Hotel Paso del Norte has opened.

Hotel Paso del Norte General Manager talks about the historic hotel’s renovation



The 351-room, Marriott Autograph Collection hotel had been scheduled to reopen in 2018, but the project was delayed by construction problems and COVID-19 business restrictions.

The hotel opened at 11 a.m., Oct. 8.  A ribbon-cutting event is scheduled Oct. 15 at the hotel, located at South El Paso Street and San Antonio Avenue in Downtown.

“Once in a great while, you happen upon a place that captures time and everything that is good about life. That’s the feeling people (will) experience” at the hotel, Carlos Sarmiento, the hotel general manager, said in a statement.

a traffic light with a building in the background: The dome bar at the Hotel Paso del Norte retained the historic charm with updated, more modern decor.

© Mark Lambie / El Paso Times
The dome bar at the Hotel Paso del Norte retained the historic charm with updated, more modern decor.

More: Tarnished Downtown El Paso gem comes back to life at cost of over $100 million

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The hotel features the elegant Dome bar, with its 25-foot-wide, 107-year-old, stained-glass dome, a rooftop pool and bar on its 10th floor, the Sabor Mexican restaurant, the 1700º Steak House, and Dulce bakery cafe, according to a hotel press release. It has 33,000 square feet of ballrooms and other meeting spaces. And a virus-killing air-filtration system is installed throughout the hotel.

Room rates range from $204 to $290 per night, according to the Marriott hotel’s website.

More: T.J. Maxx, Marshalls operator to put $150M distribution center with 950 jobs in El Paso

Much of the hotel was designed by the late, iconic El Paso architect Henry Trost, who designed most of Downtown’s historic gems. A large addition was added

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Museums and Historic Homes: 2021 Discover Richmond Annual Guide | Disco-rich-body


Agecroft Hall hosts the Richmond Shakespeare Festival.

The Richmond region is rich with museums and historic homes that preserve local history and beauty, and many offer seasonal concerts and activities. Days and hours can vary (and may be limited for some sites), so call or check websites before visiting. (Area code 804 unless otherwise noted.)

Agecroft Hall: The 15th-century English Tudor mansion was dismantled in Manchester, England, and rebuilt in 1925-26 on a 23-acre site in Richmond. Collection includes documents, furniture, ceramics, textiles and more. Also home to the Richmond Shakespeare Festival in the summer. (4305 Sulgrave Road; 353-4241; agecrofthall.org)

American Civil War Museum: Collection of artifacts, documents and sites related to the war and its legacy, reflecting multiple perspectives: Union and Confederate, enslaved and free American American; soldier and civilian. Collection also features more than 3,000 items relating to African American history and military, social and political life. (acwm.org; 649-1861). In three locations: Historic Tredegar (480 Tredegar St.), White House of the Confederacy (1201 E. Clay St.) and Appomattox (159 Horseshoe Road in Appomattox)

Ashland Museum: Dedicated to the history of the town in Hanover County. (105 Hanover Ave., 368-7314; ashlandmuseum.org)

Congregation Beth Ahabah Museum & Archives: Focuses on local Jewish history and culture; its roots are linked to one of the country’s oldest synagogues. (1109 W. Franklin St.; 353-2668; bethahabah.org/bama/)

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The State’s Largest Historic Renovation in Downtown Dallas Lights Up

Ten years ago, the vertical white lights on the former First National Bank tower were turned off after the building closed. Now the 55-year-old Elm Street landmark is being transformed as part of a $450 million redevelopment project. Award-winning real estate firm Todd Interests is developing office spaces for tenants like Downtown Dallas Inc., as well as luxury apartments, restaurants, retail, and a 219-room Thompson Hotel. Renamed The National, the 52-story high-rise is scheduled to open by the end of this year. The lights have already been turned back on.

This is one of the state’s largest adaptive reuse projects, and DDI will stake its claim on a bottom floor space that will be visible from the street. This has for years been downtown’s largest vacant block, a monstrous building covered in fencing whose developers just couldn’t get the financing to make what they called the Drever a reality. But then came Todd Interests, who picked up the baton and took the project forward. It was acquired in 2016 by Drever Capital Management, which remained as an advisory role once Shawn and Philip Todd came to the table in May of last year. They had to work quickly: work has to wrap by the end of the year in order for it to qualify for $100 million in tax credits.

Philip Todd once told D CEO that this project was “the most complicated and challenging adaptive reuse” project that he’d ever worked on. That would help explain why—in the public’s eye, at least—it has sat virtually untouched for years, a giant gash in the middle of a downtown that was thriving pre-pandemic. The 318 luxury apartments will include the 48th floor, making them the highest address in downtown.

What we see now is the largest historic renovation in Texas. That

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This Historic Home Doubled in Value After a Subtle Renovation

It doesn’t matter how perfect your home is—if your listing photos don’t stand out, potential buyers won’t come by to take a look. In our series “Lessons From Listing Photos,” we dissect the smart updates sellers have made to their homes, and how their listing pictures highlight the home’s best assets.

There’s something remarkable about an original Craftsman house—especially in a city like Portland, OR, where the old houses are as treasured as the beautiful landscape. The neighborhood of Irvington, in northeastern Portland, is actually home to the largest collection of historical homes in the state, including this massive five-bedroom, three-bathroom Craftsman built in 1912.

Through the decades, the owners had maintained many historical architectural touches, but the property was desperately in need of updating in 2013, when it was sold for $762,000. Luckily, the buyers knew exactly how to modernize it while honoring its past. And when it came time to sell, their hard work paid off.

They listed it for $1,395,000 in July 2020—during the COVID-19 pandemic, no less—and sold it less than a month later for $1,600,000. That’s right! Not only did the home sell for more than $200,000 over listing price, but the sellers also doubled the value of the home.

So how did they make this magic happen? And how can you re-create that success in your own space? Below, our experts shed light on the fruitful design moves that were made to this home.


The exterior of this home received such a huge overhaul that it’s barely recognizable, and our experts all said this was a good thing.

“The black and white color scheme is a huge improvement. It makes me want to walk in, whereas the brown and orange made me want to run away,” says Denver-based interior designer Sari Mina Ross

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