Some 175 members and friends of the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce wandered the grand staircases and great rooms as well as the refurbished nooks and crannies of the historic Blanchard Block last Tuesday in Barre. It was the largest gathering for a Chamber mixer in more than a decade.
The first public event in the totally restored downtown landmark was an awe-inspiring adventure in local entrepreneurship and craftsmanship. Polished wooden floors and stairways, ornate lighting, arched windows and embossed tin ceilings preserve the grandeur of a by-gone era.
The building has 40,000 square feet ready for tenants and final fit-up to their specifications.
Owners Mark and Robin Nicholson and John and Pam Benoit proudly welcomed the crowd and described the care and attention to detail that guided the restoration process. They also noted many of the cutting-edge safety and energy-efficiency measures woven into the historic façade.
The combination of the wonderful architecture and scores of community leaders along with great food and spirits from Country Catering of Vermont generated a terrific ambiance.
Nicom Coatings Corp., R&L Archery, Staples, and the Chamber provided door prizes, and Laura Woodward of Environmental Compliance Services won $163 in the 50-50 raffle. Door prize winners were Carol Ellison and Steve Bousquet of Heney Realtors, Jackie Carey of Community National Bank, Jeff Blow of Jet Service/Accura Printing, Jeff DeMartino of DB Design, and Merle Miller.
Check photos of the building and mixer on the Central Vermont Chamber Facebook page or click from the central-vt.com home page.