The Charles A. Gaetano family gathered at View in Old Forge on Saturday, Oct. 13 to dedicate the grand staircase and balcony in memory of Connie Gaetano, the family matriarch, who passed away earlier this year.
View executive director Jennifer Potter Hayes welcomed the Gaetano family and friends to View and gave opening remarks. She thanked the Charles A. Gaetano Construction Company for their patience and commitment to View and the Town of Webb. She remarked on the craftsmanship that went into constructing and finishing the building, including the beautiful staircase that graces the lobby and is the centerpiece of the building.
“We are so proud to call this magnificent building home of the arts center in Old Forge,” she said.
Potter Hayes then spoke about how the grand staircase and balcony are the centerpieces of View.
“From this staircase and balcony, visitors have views of the Noonan lobby, the courtyard, and the Mallinckrodt Garden. This staircase is the path Kinderwood children take every day on the way to their classroom. Also, yoga ladies, painters, photographers, our resident weaver, board members, staff, and visitors use these stairs. Brides have been married on this landing! And all of View’s bridal parties have used this staircase for their formal pictures. It is a beautiful design. I will think of Connie Gaetano when I go up and down, up and down, up and down these stairs every day,” she said.
Potter Hayes spoke of her memories of Connie, as the “front man” at the company’s office on Genesee Street in Utica. Connie staffed the front desk in the foyer, and “you had to pass muster with Connie to get through,” she said. “It is fitting,” she continued, “that the family chose to dedicate the grand staircase and balcony in Connie’s memory as this may have been one of the final public projects that she worked on.”
Kerry Rogers, View board member and chair of the construction committee, also spoke. He noted, tongue in cheek, that “the path to completion [of the building] was not exactly conventional,“ a reference to the need to halt construction for a period in order to raise more funds. Rogers also said that it was his sincere pleasure to have worked with the Gaetano team. He thanked them for their professionalism and dedication to the project. Rogers reiterated Connie’s presence at the Gaetano company and said that she will be missed.
After the remarks, Charles Gaetano and his six children gathered on the landing to cut the ribbon to the staircase and balcony, followed by the unveiling of the dedication plaque, which reads, “Grand Staircase. Given by the Charles A. Gaetano Construction Corporation in loving memory of Connie Gaetano.”
---By Leslie Bailey, View staff