Old Town Hall gets new kitchen

When the Wilton Garden Club took over management of the Old Town Hall on Ridgefield Road in the 1970s, promoting it as a venue to rent for private parties, there were a lot fewer choices in town for a rented hall.

“There wasn’t any competition in those days,” said Allison Sanders, vice president of the garden club, who said there are other opportunities for private parties.

To get an edge on the competition, the garden club has invested in a nearly $30,000 renovation of the kitchen at Old Town Hall, including donated late-model stoves and a refrigerator.

There are two ovens built into the wall, one free-standing stove with oven, a large refrigerator, and more counter and shelf space for caterers to do their work at private engagements like bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties, small weddings or business events.

“It’s our gift to the town,” said Sanders, whose husband, Rob Sanders, is the architect who designed the renovation as well as the decor for the interior of the hall, which is Federal style, in keeping with the age of the building from 1832. The kitchen was designed to complement the main space, with its muted colors and traditional forms, said Allison Sanders. The main room is bright with its large windows letting in natural light and light-colored walls and moldings.

Rob Sanders had been working on the project since last summer, keeping his eye out for gently used cabinets and appliances that would be suitable. He worked with a renovation committee on the design, organized and advised on the bidding, worked with the town to get required permits and inspections, and supervised demolition and construction.

The hope is that more people will rent Old Town Hall, and even become regular customers. The capacity is 70 people.

It costs $60 per hour to rent on weekends, with a minimum of three hours, and $35 an hour to rent on weekdays, with a minimum of three hours.

Regular customers include a drum teacher who fills the room with students on weekdays after school.

“We’ve even had small weddings here,” said Suzanne Knutson, president of the garden club. “It’s really a very intimate space.”

Other club members active in the renovation included Gladys Blundin, Linda Schmidt, Yolanda Bonomo and Marla Sinchak.

The number to call to inquire about renting the hall is 203-834-1032.