2020 In Review

Dear Friends of Heublein Tower,

2020 is rapidly coming to a close – and what a year it was!!!  Covid 19 has curtailed our public activities a bit but we are still working away behind the scenes to bring improvements and notoriety to the Tower atop Talcott Mountain.  The Friends’ Board of Directors works continually with the State of Connecticut’s Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (CT DEEP), to care for and restore the Tower building to its original early 20th century splendor, while engaging and educating the public about its history and the natural aspects of the grounds that make this location so special.

We want to thank outgoing John Guglielmoni, Park Supervisor, who was reassigned in April.  He will be missed by the Friends group as our working relationship was productive and respectful.  Thank you, John, for your dedication and commitment.  We also want to welcome our new Park Supervisor, Matthew Stephens and pledge our full support for a smooth transition at this unusual time

Thank you to our supporters who continue to care about the health of the Tower and for their continued interest in our projects – and for their contributions. A concise list of our most recent accomplishments follows:

Servants/Laundry Room Door – Replacement of an original door with arch top, beautiful recreated strap hinges, painting, trim and spring hinges.  This door is on the south side of the building on the ground floor and gave access to staff to enter from that location.  If visiting the Tower, check it out.  It’s a beauty.

Gift Shop – Beth Volle continues to maintain the gift shop through this pandemic.  We plan to feature limited items on our website for purchase.  Some of your favorites are Heublein Tower Christmas ornaments, posters, t-shirts and Tower mugs.

Hike to the Mic – The Friends of Heublein Tower’s Music and Arts Happening went virtual this year with great success – thousands tuned in to enjoy local and regional bands in the safety and comfort of their homes.  You can still watch this great program on YouTube at our Hike to the Mic YouTube Channel.  Board Member, Bill Case, continues his enthusiastic pursuit to create a wonderful, family-friendly, sponsorship driven fundraising event and hopes to return to the Mountain in the summer of 2021 to celebrate the 7th year of the Hike to the Mic.

Tower Toot & Fall Festival – Traditionally held the third weekend in October, this year would have been our 32nd continuous year of this cherished fall fundraiser.  Unfortunately, due to the virus, we had to cancel.  Watch for this event next year to enjoy great food, live music and the Royal View from atop Talcott Mountain.

Light the Beacon Capital Campaign –   The Board had anticipated launching our first ever Capital Campaign with the goal of raising funds to light the beacon and pursue additional capital funds for the restoration and enhancement of our treasured Tower.  This campaign was geared up and ready to go when we realized that we would have to shelve it for the time being due to the Covid pandemic.  That campaign will commence with the Board’s goal of raising funds, attracting sponsors to help us continue with projects – large and small – and ultimately “Light the Tower Beacon” as a visual sign that our goals have been met.  If you are interested in being a part of this opportunity to help us Light the Beacon, please contact me or any board member to discuss and get involved.   

Upgrades to our Website/Communications – Although the Tower has remained closed to the public for the 2020 season, we continue to engage our constituents and the community through our updated website and our social media channels.  We have loved sharing some of the Tower’s history, updates and all of the great photos taken by visitors to Talcott Mountain.  Even during these challenging times, our social media, website and e-newsletter following continues to grow.

A host of other activities are being pursued by our 15-member, all-volunteer board, i.e., organizing volunteers, website improvements, fundraising, to enjoy great food, live music and the Royal View from atop Talcott Mountain. searching for missing artifacts, to name a few.  We know this is a difficult time for many.  But if you are able, your donation of $25, $50, $75 or more will help us toward our 2021 goal of continued restoration and re-creation. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation online, please click here to donate through PayPal. No account is needed.

Jay T. Willerup, A.I.A.
President, Friends  of Heublein Tower

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