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Archive for Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Castle Tea Room sale has ‘something for everyone’

John Hughes, estate sales manager for the  Castle Tea Room, 1307 Mass., browses a collection of jewelry and coins at the historic Lawrence location.  The estate sale, scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., features everything from antique tools, gold necklaces, coins, fur coats and steuben glass.  Highes organized items for the auction on Tuesday.

John Hughes, estate sales manager for the Castle Tea Room, 1307 Mass., browses a collection of jewelry and coins at the historic Lawrence location. The estate sale, scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., features everything from antique tools, gold necklaces, coins, fur coats and steuben glass. Highes organized items for the auction on Tuesday.

July 18, 2007

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Estate sale at the historic Castle Tea Room

John Hughes, estate sales manager for the Castle Tea Room, talks about the sale. Enlarge video

Castle Tea Room Historic Biography

The history of the Castle Tea Room, produced by Susie Taylor-Meadows. Courtesy of the LKF Historic Foundation. Enlarge video

While perusing deals during Thursday's downtown Lawrence Sidewalk Sale, shoppers might want to meander farther south on Massachusetts Street, where they may land a piece of the city's history at a bargain price.

This $900 steuben glass elephant is one of thousands of items up for sale at the Castle Tea Room estate sale.

This $900 steuben glass elephant is one of thousands of items up for sale at the Castle Tea Room estate sale.

A three-day public estate sale starts Thursday at the historic Castle Tea Room, 1307 Mass., where thousands of items will be sold to benefit restoration of the building.

"There's something for everyone," said Suzie Taylor-Meadows, historian of the Libuse Kriz-Fiorito Historical Foundation, which was established after the 2004 death of the building's owner, "Libby" Kriz-Fiorito.

Three floors of the castle contain items for sale such as paintings, jewelry, tools, furniture and period clothing. Prices range from a 25-cent unopened tracing wheel to a $1,000 gold necklace.

And because Kriz-Fiorito opened the Castle Tea Room as a restaurant in 1947, there are a lot of dishes - more than 70 boxes of various sets. Pieces can be purchased individually or by the box. For example, a box of 24 red goblets costs $67.50, or they're $4.75 by the glass. There are lots of pans, cooking utensils, silverware and knives.

"We have some very expensive things," said John Hughes, estate sale manager. Those include pieces of Steuben glassware, ranging from a $900 elephant to a $75 small apple.

Some unique items include a soda fountain table and chairs, a huge safe, an old-fashioned ironing table and a round table that fits together like a sliced pie. Among the offbeat items: two locks of hair or a light brown hat with buttons sewn all over it, both priced at $1.

A former employee said the sale items reflected the character of Kriz-Fiorito, who was strong, generous, funny and frugal.

Peggy Shopen, of Lawrence, recalled working eight years in the building, where she did everything from wash dishes to wait tables. Shopen was among people allowed to shop early. She bought a couch and some chairs Tuesday. She said the couch had been in the sitting room of the Castle Tea Room, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

"You feel the history when you walk around this house," Shopen said. "It's pretty cool."

The historical foundation will use proceeds to restore, renovate and maintain the building - something Kriz-Fiorito requested in her will.

"She willed that it would continue to be preserved," said Craig Patterson, a member of the foundation's board of directors. "The board is responding to those people who had many good experiences throughout her career of 60 years.

"We are going to allow people to use the venue and work with community resources - companies, caterers, whatever - to basically fashion events in that venue, which will become memorable for them, from brats, buns and beans all the way to haute cuisine."

Patterson said he expected construction to begin next month and the Castle Tea Room to reopen in late 2008.

Comments

Angel Gillaspie 7 years, 5 months ago

oh, you must never have been in the Castle Tea Room. They had a sale a couple years ago, too. There is so much stuff in there, it boggles the mind. I'm sure they won't sell everything.

Bradley Menze 7 years, 5 months ago

The Castle Tea Room is awesome! I loved Libby, she was such a sweetheart and such fun. We held our wedding reception there just a few months prior to her passing and it was absolutely beautiful. All our guests thought it was the coolest place ever. It doesn't seem the same w/o her though. I hope they get the cash they need.

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