WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE'VE DONE
Wellfleet Preservation Hall represents a unique blend of past and present. The building, formerly the site of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church had suffered from years of neglect. In the last months of 2006, the creative reuse of this nearly century old building was envisioned by a small group of Wellfleet residents. Under the leadership of Marla Rice, Anne Suggs & Ellen LeBow a non profit 501 c3 organization was formed.The challenge was to preserve a unique part of Wellfleet’s architecture, breathing new life and new use into the space left vacant and deteriorating. The mission: To bring vibrancy and a sense of community back to Main Street by creating a unique hub at Wellfleet Preservation Hall that offers space for the intersection of art, culture and community.
WPH launched a multi-year capital campaign to raise the estimated $2.6 million needed for the project. The vision of a welcome gathering space in the center of Wellfleet seemed to capture the imagination of many residents. WPH was awarded a very generous start up grant of $500,000 from the Community Preservation Commission. Through the hard work of a dedicated board of directors, the personal commitment from numerous donors and further grant awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the United States Department of Agriculture, local banks, businesses and foundations the reality of this dream came to life. The Groundbreaking was held on the Spring Equinox of 2010 and the doors to Wellfleet Preservation Hall opened nearly a year later in May 2011.
RESTORATION & RENOVATION
The original metal ceilings, wood balcony and leaded glass windows were fully restored. Jonathan Kendall's iconic doors have been carefully renewed to their earlier vibrancy. Wainscoting and old flooring have been brought back to life by the skilled workmanship of Tom Reinhart and his crew. The slate roof and stucco finishes were repaired. The original cupola, removed and refurbished heralded the commitment to save this hundred year old building. The cupola is now the perch for an exquisite great blue heron sculpted by Del Filardi, exemplifying the drive to blend old with new and artistic expression with skilled craftsmanship. Custom designed crystal chandeliers add a quiet elegance to the upstairs Simone Reagor Hall.
The Lower hall, once home of fledgling community theater has a restored stage, a new sound and lighting system and a warm ambient light spilling in through 100 year old hammered glass. With remnants of the original building interwoven, the addition now boasts a fully accessible reception lobby which includes a stunning tile installation by Wellfleet resident Ted Thomas, a brand new commercial kitchen, an elevator and 6 new restrooms. Signature wall tiles created by artist, Ellen Lebow, grace the lobby spaces. By design WPH is both spacious and intimate reflecting the artistic aesthetic of the visionaries who stewarded the project.
Along the way WPH hosted events that created a unique trademark of FUNraising and FRIENDraising a feature we trust will continue to embody much of what happens at the Hall. Typically many of our fundraising events feature the creativity & artistic talent that is abundant in the area. Whether it is visual, musical or performance art; improv, literature or exercise classses the Hall celebrates and invites programs and exhibits that invigorate and energize. From our Annual Birdhouse Auction, to Chamber Music ensembles or the world renown Preservation Hall Jazz Band of New Orleans to our weekly Farmer’s Market and other community events the Hall offers something for everyone.
The Board hired Janet Lesniak as the Executive Director, a Managing Director, Vanessa Downing, and Private Event Coordinator, Jenna Moore. The Hall's mix of programs, the quality of the staff and, the continued contributions of an active and supportive board ensures that WPH meets its mission as a community & cultural center. In a few short years Wellfleet Preservation Hall has come to life, engaging many new friends and promoting a lively vibrancy in the center of downtown. We look forward to many more years of fun, engagement and activity at the Hall for everyone that crosses our threshold. Join us for an event or class , offer a program, support our mission or just stop by for tour .
Marla Rice, President | Anne Suggs, Vice President | Arthur Huge, Treasurer, | Mary Grace Smith, Clerk | Tracy Plaut, Volunteer Coordinator | David Agger,Volunteer Coordinator | Bruce Bierhans | Suz Brigham | Berta Bruinooge | Sky Freyss-Cole | Nicholas Gulde | Dede Ketover | Ellen LeBow | Gigi Ledkovsky | Dale Rheault | Robert Rindler | Susan Spear | Claire Sokoloff | Lee Wotherspoon
EMBRACING THE FUTURE
The board of WPH is deeply committed to sustaining a high level of support and involvement along with sound fiscal management to maintain the quality and range of offerings at the Hall, retain the aesthetic and care of the facility and move forward in our mission. Please consider donating to Wellfleet Preservation Hall.
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Wellfleet Preservation Hall
Wellfleet Preservation Hall prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, status as a parent, because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or retaliation.