BENCH PRESS! A Chester man donates seating, local firm donates labor for a charming setting

Two new benches, donated by Julian Sottovia, flank the walkway to the Academy Building on Main Street in Chester. Photos by Tuckerman Wunderle.

On Friday, May 13, two new benches were installed in front of the Chester Academy Building on Main Street.

The benches were purchased and donated by Chester resident Julian Sottovia in memory of his parents, and provide a relaxing place to enjoy what made Chester so special to the late couple.

“My parents loved Chester,” Sottovia said. “I felt that a great way to honor them was to give back to the town they enjoyed so much.”

Scott Wunderle, kneeling, and Steve Beayon, both of Terrigenous Landscape Architecture, lay hand-cut stone bases for the benches.

These new additions to the Green also assist in the ongoing effort to revitalize Chester’s streetscape, a process that began with a Master Plan completed by SE Group in 2015.

The placement and configuration of the benches was developed by a small committee consisting of Sottovia and Chester Townscape volunteers Nancy Chute, Tory Spater and Cheryl LeClair. Also involved in the effort were Scott and Tuckerman Wunderle from Terrigenous Landscape Architecture and Chester Town Manager Julie Hance.

The benches were chosen to match those at the Whiting Library, the Swinging Bridge, the Stone Church and the Information Booth.

The benches were placed on either side of the walkway leading to the Chester Academy Building, framing the historic structure and inviting people into the front lawn. Trees provide the space with cool shade in the afternoons.

Granite curbing salvaged from other town projects was used to anchor the benches, as was done in other places around town. The time needed to install the benches was donated by Terrigenous, and was completed by employees Patrick Jarvis, Steve Beayon and Tuckerman and Scott Wunderle.


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  1. Carrie Roy King says:

    Such a beautiful memorial to your parents and a great gift to their beloved Chester! Thank you, Julian. Cheers to the fantastic folks at Terrigenous for your expertise and heavy lifting. Love how these new benches are matching in style to the other comfy benches we have to enjoy around the Green.

  2. Sharon Jonynas says:

    What a lovely addition to our town. Many thanks to all who were so generous with their time and money to help make Chester so special.

  3. Arlene Mutschler says:

    How sweet and wonderful. I will look for them. And enjoy them ! I’m sure his mother would be thrilled.