Home improvement projects have been on the rise since COVID began. During our pause at Stony Point Center, we joined in the home improvement frenzy. We used our downtime to finish up some long overdue campus renovations and enhancements. We chose a new paint color palette to signify a deeper connection to nature. We pruned our trees’ dead limbs and churned them out in our woodchipper, repurposing them as mulch to beautify other garden areas around campus.
An old friend stopped by for a visit and showed us a new way to edge our Labyrinth grass. It looks amazing! We are so eager for guests to walk its’ path in meditation and focused prayer. In fact, the entire 30 acres of our property looks as if it has been transformed; our neighbors here in Stony Point have started taking leisurely walks around campus during this sacred pause time of COVID.
But the most notable and extensive project over the past few months was the renovation of our very own Victorian manse – the Gilmor Sloane House. Inside and out, the Gilmor Sloane House has had a fabulous makeover! Cathy Burrafato, our hostess at the Gilmor Sloane House, worked on the interior of the house. She scraped and sanded old doors, glazed leaded glass windows, refurbished moldings and mantels and painted interior trim and molding. Ms. Burrafato also sewed new accent pillows and curtains for many of the guest bedrooms. She noted that painting the interior of Gilmor Sloane House would be quite an adventure. The house boasts 36 different paint colors; every room has a different color and wallpaper motif. It may sound like too many hues for one house, but you would never know when you visit and see how handsomely all the colors work together. Each of the 12 guestrooms now has brand new heating and ai rconditioning units installed, allowing guest to control their own temperatures within their room.
Fernando Castineiras, Stony Point Center’s general contractor, used the woodshop in Stony Point Center’s Art Space to build the wooden structures needed for renovation. He is a master carpenter and used his skills to repair exterior siding, structural issues, and built a new pergola on the sunporch’s front corner. Mr. Castineiras’ team of carpenters and builders painted the exterior and installed brand-new roof. The garden’s original site has been restored; his team built new wooden beams for the pavilion. In the warmer months, it will be a splendid outdoor space to gather and hold retreat meetings. The Gilmor Sloane has been restored to her former glory of days when the Gilmor sisters used it as their country home in the 1930s and 1940s.
The Gilmor Sloane House, first named Cairn Croft, went through major renovations in 1889, 1914 and then in 1998. We believed that it was essential that this house be readied to receive guests who need spiritual and mental healing during this unprecedented time! The rooms of Gilmor Sloane House and the grounds of Stony Point Center are the perfect spaces to restore the spirit and regroup.
Your group can use the beautifully appointed dining rooms and parlor rooms for breakout spaces during your retreat. Or, your group may want to stay in the Gilmor Sloane House but spread out around campus and use one of our other meeting spaces. The Meditation Space and the Art Space can be set up to fit your group’s retreat needs. Both open spaces are perfect for incorporating yoga, breathwork and other creative arts into your retreat. And nestled in 30 acres, our campus also allows for creative ways to engage with nature. and meditative practice on our Labyrinth.
Now is the time to start planning how to reset and refresh in the New Year. We are accepting reservations for small group of 20 and less for retreats beginning January 10, 2021. Simply fill out the inquiry form and we will contact you to help you plan your event.