Celebrating the Virginia Lee Burton Writing Cottage restoration and resiting at the Lanesville Community Center, #GloucesterMa

ROSS BURTON _Virginia Lee Burton Writing Cottage opens_Lanesville Community Center_Gloucester MA_20181021_© c ryan
Congratulations to Ross “Sandy” Burton, Chris Wagner, Russell Hobbs, Cheryl Mazer, Juidth Oleson, Christine Drohan, Carol Kelly, and many many other volunteers who rescued and repurposed Virginia Lee Burton artist studio into a most fitting new chapter

Come on inside the Virginia Lee Burton Writing Cottage which was once the acclaimed artist’s former studio of her own. Virginia Lee Burton’s personal studio was rescued and nestled into the Lanesville Community Center property. The center’s clubhouse and grounds, established in 1954, seem to be the ideal spot for a summer rec program, even more so now. As one enters the cottage through the custom built door, there’s a brand new window straight ahead where the stove and chimney – and asbestos– had been. Virginia Lee Burton needed a wood stove. Today’s visitors won’t. New materials and insulation make the cottage cozy and warm.

Folly Cove Designers.jpg
vs “The Barn” (1948) Folly Cove Designers large public space 

 

Chris Wagner president of community center and project manager_ ROSS Burton_ Virginia Lee Burton Writing Cottage opens_Lanesville Community Center_Gloucester MA_20181021_© c ryan
Chris Wagner & Ross Burton (with microphone)

At the celebration presentation on October 21, 2018, Chris Wagner, President of the Lanesville Community Center and project manager,  recounted some history. Virginia Lee Burton purchased her studio from the Building Center in 1963. It was a pre fab home that she repurposed for her needs. He explained that the volunteers leveraged outreach. The Building Center responded with “anything you need,” and was so supportive of the cottage regeneration that they offered the volunteers a $5000 credit towards building materials. It takes an inspiring and talented village. Other area businesses stepped up: Timberline donated shingles; Argentino handled plastering; Closed Cell Structures out of Reading handled the spray foam so the cottage was winterized; Carpenter & MacNeille designed and commissioned door and windows custom built by Chris Roe from Bayview; architectural drawings from Dore and Whittier; KML Electric; plants and flowers from Generous Gardeners; and cut sunflowers for the reception from Shaws. How inspiring to learn that Camilla MacFadyen, artist and textile extraordinaire, had a hand in this studio-raising. Character, warmth, and charm were added to the new exterior wood work. Volunteers salvaged what they could of the studio and rebuilt a gem. Work is still underway. When Burton exited her sanctuary studio, she faced the ocean. Now it’s an ocean of love. Plans for future community programs and events (see below) are underway and volunteers welcome.

 

 

Support for the cottage renewal came from residents of Gloucester via CPA funding and donations, various city staff departments (e.g. conservation and community development), and a slew of committed volunteers. Like Russell Hobbs! Here’s the modest presentation listing some key volunteers:

 

The poignant celebration was held inside the Lanesville Community Center and concluded with an apt recitation from a Little House passage read by Christine Drohan.

The Lanesville Community Center Board of Directors invites you to

Family Event: “First Reading” of Virginia Lee Burton’s books with Avis Burton Demetrios and Eleanor Demetrios, Saturday, October 27, 1pm

Children’s Drawing on October 27, 1-3pm to be displayed at the Cape Ann Museum children’s room. Cape Ann Museum is the largest repository of Burton art and archives, and of the Folly Cove Designers.

You can sign up to help the Lanesville Community Center

sign up sheet for community center_ Virginia Lee Burton Writing Cottage opens_Lanesville Community Center_Gloucester MA_20181021_© c ryan

 

Sign up to help the Virginia Lee Burton Writing Cottage endeavor

sign up sheet for the cottage_Virginia Lee Burton Writing Cottage opens_Lanesville Community Center_Gloucester MA_20181021_© c ryan

3 thoughts on “Celebrating the Virginia Lee Burton Writing Cottage restoration and resiting at the Lanesville Community Center, #GloucesterMa

  1. Thanks Catherine for the views and follow-up here they did a bang up job here volunteers and paid contractors-workers! The little house location is very close to what used to be a pond on that side of the community center between there and high street. There was also a small quarry behind the community center woods area took a short-cut through these woods to go up to Manships residence where I did handy work earn extra $$. If you go back and to left goes over toward leveret street.

    What a great addition to the community center and the island of Cape Ann surrounded by community and ocean can feel it for sure!!

    All the years of wandering find your way around to the shortcuts through woods…:-) Dave & Kim 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Catherine you really did an incredible job with this write up! The photo’s , historical photos and organization. show your amazing skills in so many ways. Thank you from all of us in Lanesville! You are now added to the VLB Writing cottage list of VOLUNTEERS!

    Liked by 1 person

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