POULTNEY—The newly renovated Queen Anne-Colonial Revival house at the northeast corner of Bentley and College Streets in Poultney, formerly known as “Bentley Hall,” has been renamed “The Meeting House.” The name change reflects the intent to offer the building as a meeting venue for Green Mountain College and the Poultney community.
Business, community, and private groups in Poultney and Poultney Village that wish to use the downstairs meeting room facilities can now reserve or rent the space for small meetings and events. The Meeting House includes three rooms, one of which is equipped with a presentation screen and projector. Refreshments/meals may be provided by the facility user or can be professionally catered. The first floor is handicapped accessible.
Funds for the building’s renovation came from private donations and support from the Preservation Trust of Vermont’s Village Revitalization Facilities Initiative, and USDA-Rural Development’s Community Facility program.Vermont’s U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy formally opened the renovated house on May 17, 2014, following GMC’s commencement ceremony. The project won a 2014 Preservation Trust of Vermont award for creative repurposing of a historic building.
Built in 1900 as a private home for C. W. Humphrey, the house at various times served as a residence for women faculty, an honors residence hall for students, and the residence of longtime dean of students Francis Bozen. When Bozen retired in 1990 the house was used mostly for furniture storage.
President Paul Fonteyn recognized the historical significance of the building when he took up the reins as GMC president in 2008. He also saw its potential as a meeting and event facility to be share with the Poultney community. His idea drew support from local leaders including Poultney town manager Jonas Rosenthal, who wrote letters of support for grant proposals to raise funds for renovations.