Dennis House

New Use for Old WFSB Studio Prop

Like many people, Kara and I are big fans of recycling.   If we have to get rid of something, we try to give it away, donate it, or put it at the curb.   It gives us a good feeling when we look out to find what we no longer needed, was picked up by someone else.

On occasion, we’ve actually taken stuff from someone’ else’s curbside.     Years ago, Kara and I passed a cool looking chair next to some trash barrels.   We took it home, refinished it, and added some new cushions that Kara had made.   Turns out it was an antique Morris chair, a type of recliner popular in the Victorian era.   Good ones can sell for over a thousand dollars.

I also plucked two old solid oak school desks from the side of my street, thrown out by a neighbor whose children are now grown.   Slapped on  paint, and some personalization, and my kids now use them.

Kara and I will try to avoid contributing to the landfill, by seeing if something destined for the trash can be used for a new purpose.  When we bought our house, there were some old beaten up radiator covers.   I recrafted them with some wood and  stakes,  added a fresh coat of paint, and now we have a fence to keep Kara’s hydrangeas at bay.  

Our pride and joy in our recycling adventures is the re-use of a piece of an old Channel 3 news set.    In the 1980s, Barbara Allen, Pat Sheehan and the gang used to sit in front of an etched glass skyline of the city of Hartford.    I’m told it costs thousands of dollars to have it custom made, and it featured a intricate relief of the State Capitol, CityPlace, and other landmarks.

It wasn’t used long in our studios, and then it was removed and turned into a translucent divider for our news conference room.    When we moved out the old Broadcast House, the station sold off some of the items inside to employees; old desks, and stuff like that.      Kara and I picked up the skyline glass, which was 15 feet long, for 20 bucks!  

Carpenters Pat Moran and Paul Lenares took  two sections of the skyline, and made these windows.      We of course don’t have special blue lighting like in the studio, but it looks great in our living room.

Before you throw something out, take a good look at it, and use your imagination.   Speaking of old props,  I wonder whatever happened to all the poster sized pictures that used to hang outside Broadcast House?  

  I did see Denise measuring them and then hanging around the moving vans.  Hmmm.

14 replies »

  1. Having the skyline glass in your house is pretty awesome!

    Most of my furniture is secondhand, but I wish I had better luck finding more interesting pieces. Right now, the tables and chairs I have are purely utilitarian.


  2. I can see a new weekly segment on Better Connecticut – “Decorating with Dennis”. 😉

    Seriously, you have done a wonderful job with your projects. Love it!


  3. I do similar with old clothing. Scouring consignment shoppes, Goodwill etc for items I can take and use in quilting projects. I have gotten some great items at great prices and made some awesome looking things. Most of my furniture items here are used. Handed down from family and friends. People need to look at what you can do with an item, the sky is the limit! Great job on the things that you and Kara did in your home Dennis and a great message today.


  4. Thanks, everyone! Kerri, a second hand shop owner once told me he drives through upscale neighborhoods the night before trash day and often finds pretty good stuff. Karen, I am merely the laborer. Kara is the designer.


  5. great job Dennis and Kara. I usually go to the flea markets and buy my furniture. I have 1940’s end tables and a 1949 kitchen set(I was going to purchase a replica but it was 10 times the cost), amongst tons of other stuff. The old stuff is more my style. I just purchased an old curio cabinet for all my boyfriends car collectables, he loves it.


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