Stone table and benches complete Chester park

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The new table features a chess board cut into the stone. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

In March 2018, Chester voters approved a bond for $25,000 to construct a “pocket park” at the end of School Street by the suspension bridge over the Middle Branch of the Williams River.

The park was one of the first ideas that came out of the Village Center Master Planning process. This week, with the installation of a granite table and benches, the project is complete.

On Tuesday, June 30, landscape architect Scott Wunderle, who designed the space, installed the table and benches made from granite curbstones the town had saved from a sidewalk project local stone purchased from Vermont Stone Sales in Chester and set atop salvages stone that the town had on hand.

Wunderle grinds the surface of the bench smooth.

The idea behind the park was to provide a place where residents and visitors alike can enjoy the river. It was also thought that the park would be one of several spaces that would could attract visitors to walk around the downtown area.

The granite table features a chess board cut into the stone. Wunderle said they had made a set of chess pieces but those would have to be “powder coated” because the paint kept coming off. Powder coating is a process in which a powder pigment is fused to an object by curing it in an oven.

The park also features a granite walkway to the bridge that can double as a hopscotch court and two heavy metal park benches attached to granite curbing slabs.

Wunderle, right, and Patrick Jarvis install the granite hopscotch court in September 2018.

One feature of the new table and benches is the reuse of materials salvaged from the old cell tower on the Pinnacle Hill that had been  taken down last year after the new, larger one was erected. The salvaged metal makes up the framework on which the stone benches rest.

Wunderle’s firm, Terrigenous Landscape Architecture, also installed a front walkway and another park bench in front of the information center on Main Street and a stone bench in memory of Suzy Forlie across the driveway from the restored Hearse House.

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  1. Thanks everyone!

    Just one slight correction: The stone for the table and benches was purchased from Vermont Stone Sales in Chester. We needed some large pieces, and thought it would be important to feature local material. The surface under the under furniture was salvaged.

    Hope everyone enjoys the space. We’ve left the chess pieces down there to see what happens.


  2. Sean Whalen says:

    In olden times this was a favorite sled and ski run, from High Street down to the bridge and across it if you dared…lots of fun to be had in the Village on snowy nights before the plows came.
    Also, Andy Osmun the St. Luke’s Rector improved the swimming hole downstream from the bridge, some decades before Irene. Good times there too.
    I will bring my kids to see this park. Thanks for making it.

  3. Joe Karl says:

    Thanks again to Scott and crew! Beautiful work!

  4. Margaret Straub says:

    Thank you, Scott and to your team. You do beautiful work and always come through for Chester.