|August 1, 2003|
This Nott is for the birds
Birds of a feather – George Woodzell, a master woodworker, and artist Peg Foley, sit with their creation, a replica of the Nott Memorial. The cedar scale version took Woodzell about three months to create from original plans archived in the Schaffer Library’s Special Collections. Foley, an art teacher at Schenectady High School, painted daily for a week recreating the Nott’s distinctive exterior. The mini-Nott is 15 inches wide and two feet high. It will be the centerpiece of a birdhouse auction Saturday, Aug. 2, for the benefit of Habitat for Humanity. For auction details, visit www.hfhscny.org.
(The Nott birdhouse was acquired at the auction by Walter Causey '51, a man for whom the building has special meaning. "I used to study in the basement of the Nott," he recalls. "It was a great place, very quiet with all the little cubbies." Causey, a economics major who is retired from the state Department of Commerce, said he also has warm memories of playing lacrosse in Library Field against the backdrop of the building. The "birdhouse" -- which he said is too nice to have outdoors -- is on display in his Glenville home.)
The Nott Memorial, an erstwhile home for pigeons, is once again "for the birds."
Not the real Nott, which was fully bird-proofed as part of it extensive restoration in 1995.
This Nott is a birdhouse measuring about two feet high. The creation of Schenectady residents George Woodzell, a woodworker, and artist Peg Foley, the structure is going up for auction along with 100 other hand-built birdhouses. The auction benefits Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady, which builds affordable housing for those who qualify.
Birdhouses include a submarine, several outhouses, a lighthouse and a caboose. None, it seems, matches the shape or size of the Nott. "There's no other building like it," says Woodzell, who spent three months on his version.
Woodzell did the woodwork based on elevation drawings supplied by the College's Special Collections. "Figuring out how to do it was most of the fun," he said of cutting the pieces from cedar to represent Union's 16-sided centerpiece building. Foley did the paint job, but only after carefully surveying the building during many walks through campus, she said.