The former home of The Message for the Week at 197 Elm Street in Chester has been remodeled and is now home to The Framery.
New owners John and Jo-Anne DeBenedetti moved The Framery from its Bellows Falls location to Chester right after they bought it from Donna Lund on September 3., The new location opened on October 1.
The old Message offices were completely remodeled and now house two large framing and matting areas, a front counter space, an art gallery and office space.
The DeBenedetti's say they are seeing a lot of their old customers and many new ones. The move and remodel have been a lot of work, they said, but well worth the effort. They are now well prepared for the work clients bring them in the busy holiday season. They specialize in archival framing.
They are open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
(Editor's Note: In visiting The Framery, I discussed with the DeBenedettis how the remodel removed one of the beloved features of the original Message office space - the ever-evolving walls in the newsroom where I had worked for several years alongside former editors Wes Johnson and Paul Larochelle, and more recently my co-editor Joe Milliken.
The DeBenedetti's remembered the old Message walls well. They said the Johnson family, the original publishers of The Message for the Week and owners of the building, had taken at least some of the wall items before the remodel.
The walls were lined with decades of pictures, clippings, posters, Message covers, magazine and other newspaper covers and often R-rated miscellaneous ephemera. Because The Message was pasted up by hand for years, there was always a convenient wax machine available to run anything that caught our fancy through and slap it up on the walls somewhere.