Village Improvement Society Holds Auction

Village Improvement
Society Holds Auction

Gilbertsville’s Gilbert Block on Commercial Street features a row of neo-Tudor style structures built between 1893 and 1895. (Photo by Nancy Callahan)

The Gilbertsville Village Improvement Society has begun an online auction through Lambrecht Auction of Bainbridge, the proceeds of which will go toward upkeep of the Gilbert Block. Eighty items are offered, ranging from “top shelf” treasures such as a complete set of German Rosenthal china to Instapots. Also featured are heirloom-quality furnishings, vintage décor and stained glass windows. Works by local artists—including ceramic artists Elizabeth Nields and Marcus Villagran, visual artist Alberta Hutchison, and collage artist Jane Higgins—are also available through the auction.

Those interested in viewing or bidding on auction items may visit or and scroll down to “Gilbertsville Improvement Society Fundraiser.”

Bidding closes on February 16 at 7 p.m. An in-person preview of auction items will be held on Saturday, February 11 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Gilbert Block on Commercial Street. The pick-up date for items purchased will be February 18 from 9 a.m. to noon, also at the Gilbert Block.

An elephant table is one of the 80 items currently featured in the Gilbertsville Village Improvement Society’s fundraiser auction.

The purpose of the auction is to raise funds for maintenance and structural improvements to the Gilbert Block, a neo-Tudor style strip of buildings designed by Boston architect Henry Forbes Bigelow and constructed between 1893 and 1895.

“Funds are needed for general maintenance of our properties on an ongoing basis. Right now, funds are urgently needed for plumbing improvements so we can rent the former Value Way space. Its closure has left a big void in the village life and economy. We need to attract a replacement business, hopefully a grocery store of some kind,” said Lynne Ohl, VIS board member and auction organizer.

The Gilbert Block is owned by the VIS. In the recent past, it has housed businesses such as the aforementioned Value Way Grocery, a bookshop, a quilt shop and a soda fountain, all of which have ceased to operate. Currently, Five Kids Bakehouse—owned and operated by Heather and Cole Covington of Gilbertsville, specializing in artisan breads and pastries—is the only active business in the block. Several artists occupy studios above the former Value Way.

The VIS, founded in 1886, also owns and is responsible for maintaining the Gilbertsville Post Office and the 100-year-old Overlook Park on State Route 51. Since the entire Village of Gilbertsville was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1983, VIS properties are likewise on the register.

Lambrecht Auction has been doing business since 1958, selling real estate, antiques, construction and farm equipment, tools, firearms, business liquidations, and more. Lambrecht’s operates out of the former Elmer’s Glue Factory, a 48,000-square-foot warehouse occupying 20 acres in Bainbridge.

For information on the VIS auction, contact Lynne Ohl at (607) 783-2518.

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