19th Anniversary

19th Anniversary 112 www.afamag.com |  www.incollect.com When the couple moved in, the third floor was comprised of a few rooms and attic storage. After the fire, they gutted the space and remodeled. Where the butler’s living quarters once was is now Anthony’s home office. His bold aesthetic and affinity for sculpture is evident in the Italian carved chairs and carved putti. The German desk matches a cabinet on the other side of the room (not shown). The neutral beige tones complement the furnishings. design. Partnering with Galerie Diurne, a Parisian company that designs and manufacturers custom hand-woven rugs, Paula created the rugs for the residence; a few of the first floor rooms have antique carpets. Paula’s design concept for the mansion blends relevant and contemporary sensibilities with historic furnishings. She strives for warm and inviting spaces where nothing feels contrived and where there is a balance of a comfortable yet formal atmosphere. Each room has its own theme, color, historic aspect, and “tactile” quality, most evident from the textiles. The one consistent element throughout the house is the Italian religious sculpture, a favorite of Anthony’s, dating from between the fifteenth and twentieth centuries. Paula’s interest in fabrics, weavings, and fringes, informs her affinity with Manchester and its mill history. In 2005, she and her husband donated looms used at Scalamandré, similar to the Cheney Brothers’ looms, to the local Manchester Historical Society. In keeping with Paula’s interest in philanthropy, her design company encourages giving by donating 10 percent of its profits to the charity of each client’s choice. The couple share an interest in revitalizing downtown Manchester and invigorating the entrepreneurial spirit exhibited when the town was thriving as the silk capital of the nation. Anthony has brought health care businesses to the area and helped stimulate economic growth in the historic district, and Paula has contributed to the ongoing revitalization of downtown Manchester. She is a cofounder of Imagine Mainstreet, a nonprofit in which artists, artisans, and musicians are the catalyst for change by spurring economic growth through events, pop-ups, and performances that bring hundreds to the downtown area. In association with Manchester Community College, the couple underwrote the Viscogliosi Entrepreneurship Center that serves to encourage small business owners to pursue their passions, learn leadership skills, and access networking opportunities. The couple also support local arts organizations and museums, including the Decorative Arts Council of the Wadsworth Atheneum in nearby Hartford. Every community should be as fortunate to have a couple whose philanthropic interests are geared to inspiring opportunity for the arts, education, and entrepreneurship, and who are passionate about historic preservation and a desire to create a modern lifestyle that embraces antiques.  Carl Vernlund is a photographer specializing in home, garden, and architectural photography; Carl Vernlund Photography is based in West Hartford, Connecticut. 1. Benjamin Cheney, the progenitor of the family, settled near Hop Brook in 1724. His sons, Timothy and Benjamin Jr., were clockmakers. Timothy (1731–1795) built the gristmill where his grandsons established Mt. Nebo Silk Manufacturers, the genesis of Cheney Brothers. 2. A subsequent owner closed the last textile mill, which made velvet fabric, in 1984. 3. Background details on the historic district were sourced from the Preservation and Development Plan for the Cheney Brothers National Historic Landmark District, Manchester, Connecticut (1980); and from the Manchester Historical Society website: www.manchesterhistory.org.