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Beaver Station Delivers Vintage Glamour and a Surprise Setting for Weddings
Bridal industry experts list the top wedding trends for 2017 as vintage glamour, a neutral color pallet with touches of metallic and a venue that is a surprise setting for guests.
Beaver Station Cultural & Event Center — in the charming and historic town of Beaver — fits the bill perfectly as a vintage Pittsburgh & Lake Erie train station built in 1897. Much of its original grandeur is still intact or beautifully restored including an elegant front entrance portecochère, slate roof, stained glass windows, marble mosaic floor, box beam ceiling and shiny brass railings. It also features an outdoor, covered trackside courtyard with lush garden beds and raised planter boxes for all-weather enjoyment. Preserved and operated by the Beaver Area Heritage Foundation, the Station’s beautifully landscaped three-acre campus includes a road side garden maintained by the Penn State Master Gardeners, an event lawn featuring a historic bandstand like “Belvedere” structure, an award winning local history museum and log house as well as ample free parking.
The Belvedere, meaning “beautiful view,” was recently completed as a new outdoor space for wedding ceremonies, party activities and arts performances, repurposed from the turret roof of a nearby, now razed 1890 mansion. “The Belvedere has been an incredible project to watch come together,” said Venue Manager, Leanne Rogowski. The roof was lifted from the mansion and brought to the Station by crane where it was restored before shingles made from recycled rubber, that look exactly like slate, were applied. An exposed aggregate concrete base was poured, columns were built and a crane lifted the roof on top of the newly built base. Lighting, corbels, and a copper finial have been added for traditional character. “Couples are loving the beautiful ceremony spot on our Event Lawn and appreciate the convenience it offers their guests to have the ceremony and reception all in one location.”
The non-profit Heritage Foundation raised $2.8 million for the Station’s three-year restoration project, and rental income helps maintain this iconic property and many community activities. The Station opened in late 2015 and in its first year hosted some 8,800 guests for more than 75 events, including wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, showers, family parties as well as non-profit, cultural and corporate events. It was ranked in the top five percent of all U.S. venues and was awarded the Couples Choice award from WeddingWire.com.
The very first couple to wed onsite was Amy and Clint Fleming from Hopewell Township who discovered the Station from a friend’s Twitter tweet. The couple wanted a vintage and classic themed wedding that was unique and would allow for an intimate ceremony and a fun reception, all at the same venue. “Our guests loved the station, many commented about how beautiful it was along with the fact that the restorations kept it authentic like the floor tile, windows and lighting,” Amy said. “They also loved seeing the trains go by.”
Another couple, Wendy Van Wyhe of Beaver Falls and Chad Whelpley of Beaver, selected the Station for their 2017 summer wedding reception. “Chad and I wanted something local that fit our style and commitments,” she said. “Since we’re both interested in urban community revitalization and development, the train station felt more in line with this than any other option we could think of.” Following their church ceremony, guests will enjoy a lively reception beginning with a cocktail hour inside the 1897 Event Room and Trackside Courtyard, then on to the event lawn for dinner with a live band and then returning to the Station for dancing and fellowship. Wendy says the couple is most looking forward to a celebration with family and friends and enjoying great food in a very intimate location. “Beaver Station is unique to its place, its history and all those that call Beaver County their home. It matters because it’s local – more real or personal to those who live here.”