By: Bryan Geary
Full of both nostalgia and possibility, first-floor renovations in the Charles E. Tilton Mansion are beginning to come to a close, and the results are stunning.While managing to preserve its ornate and museum-like qualities, the project has simultaneously created distinctive program opportunities in the arts, historical research and study, entrepreneurship, event planning, and community service. At its core, however, the progress returns the space to its rightful state, revitalizing its significance as both a family heirloom and a point of pride for the entire community.
Built in 1861 as the home of Charles E. Tilton, the Mansion remained within the Tilton family until it was sold in 1952. A decade later, in 1962, the property came up for sale again, at which time it was purchased by the School. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural significance and is home to a host of historical and one-of-one artifacts and furnishings.
“In reimagining this space and what is possible here, we’re building something that truly celebrates our community and our purpose,” says Head of School Kate Saunders P’17, ’21. “Similar to how the namesake of the Mansion, Charles E. Tilton, helped bridge Tilton to the surrounding areas by bringing in railroads and building up town roadways, we want to build connections that establish the School as a center of distinction for community partnerships. Our location is an asset with immense untapped potential, and the Mansion project is a vital part of how we will transform what’s possible in independent school education.”
In collaboration with local organizations and the surrounding education community, the School is
designing programming and events that will broaden appreciation and understanding of the Mansion as a historical landmark and shared history in this region. Phase one initiatives such as the archival display, a new social sciences classroom, a catering kitchen, and the new artist-in-residence program are just the start of bringing this vision to life.