Wallingford Victorian Inn to close, furnishings up for sale

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WALLINGFORD — A boutique hotel in a 130-year-old restored house has sold, and the period furnishings are up for sale.

The Wallingford Victorian Inn, 245 N. Main St. is slated to close Nov. 1, according to an email sent to the business’s mailing list.

Owner Karl Kieslich declined to comment Thursday on the terms of the sale, which he said has not been finalized.

According to town records, the property last changed hands in March 2017 for $675,000. The total appraised value is listed at $657,000.

Kieslich said he’s already sold some of the antique furnishings, which the new owners are not interested in. A one-day estate sale is scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. Nov. 1.

“It's not everyday furniture,” he said. “Most of them are very, very old antiques — beds, dressers, chaise lounges, Tiffany lamps, artwork, floor lamps, linens, china, so on and so on.”

The items range in price from $10 to $20 for knickknacks to $20,000 for the antique beds in the six suites.

“We have some canopy beds that are well over 100 years old,” Kieslich said.

He said he plans to put anything that is not sold after the estate sale into storage, to be sold off piece by piece.

“They’re collector items, so it's not something everybody's going to be looking for,” he said. “There are auction sites that sell, specifically, those irreplaceable antiques that collectors are searching for — throughout the country, throughout the world.”

Kieslich, a Wallingford resident, runs two other hospitality brands with locations throughout Connecticut — New England Cottages, which offers vacation rentals at beachfront and lakefront properties, and Seasons Hospitality, which offers furnished apartments for short-term housing for traveling medical professionals and executives.

History of the inn 

The Queen Anne-style home was built in 1891 by industrialist Gordon W. Hall as a wedding present for his daughter, Georgianna, who had married Charles Tibbits.

Hall was the founder of Simpson, Hall, Miller and Co., a silver manufacturer. The Tibbits family lived across the street, where the Wallingford Public Library now stands.

Allen and Tyler Architectural Associates designed the house, and the C.F. Wooding Company constructed the 6,092-square-foot home.

The house sold in 1961 to a doctor, who converted some of the rooms for treating patients. Since the 1990s, the house has served as a bed-and-breakfast.

In October 2013, Kieslich purchased the home and began major remodeling, including the interior decor. The dining room, windows and stained glass are all original features.

The inn consistently won praise and recognition, locally and internationally, and participated in community events like the Holiday Stroll.

Jerry Farrell Jr., president of the Wallingford Historic Preservation Trust, said that he hopes the future use of the inn includes a public aspect.

“One of the nice things about it having been an inn,” Farrell said Thursday, “is that the public got access to the interior in a way that the public really doesn't get access to most historic sites.”

He said it would be “a loss” if the public loses access to the house.

“Part of getting people to appreciate that historic houses and places are important,” he said, “is that mental buy-in — getting to see these places, getting to understand how people lived in them when the house was built in the 1890s. If that's not a piece of what the future plans are, that would be a loss.”

For inquires about furnishings at the inn, contact Kieslich at 203-623-3911.

LTakores@record-journal.com203-317-2212Twitter: @LCTakores

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