GUILFORD — Thank you for the wonderful and touching piece by Ian Diamondstone about Dalem's Chalet. The official write-up about the renovation of the property into housing was necessarily dry and sketchy, and it was great to have Ian's personal story of his relationship to this remarkable place and its founder and longtime proprietor.
Friends of Music at Guilford, which I managed for a number of decades, had a warm relationship with the Chalet and with Ursula Dalem. They hosted a visiting vocal recitalist, who appreciated the European proprietors and their cuisine, and for many years Dalem's supported Friends of Music through program book advertising, at a time when their budget was obviously tight.
Our organization also presented two fundraising events in the large hall above the dining room, one of the lesser-known, but most distinctive, gathering spaces in the area, and the fact that these events were, indeed, fund-raisers was due in part to Mrs. Dalem's generously low rental fee.
Among our family's favorite events was a dinner-and-play-reading group, which materialized just once a year at Dalem's - a story for another time!
While the repurposing of this charming and eccentric place is certainly a sensible and much-needed transformation, some of us will be wistful about the end of its era.