Cheney Hall Foundation

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The Cheney Hall Foundation, Inc. (CHF) manages the business, property and affairs of the Town owned Historic Cheney Hall building.

Little Theatre of Manchester

Little Theatre of Manchester at Cheney Hall hosts a variety of plays, concerts, and events, and you certainly don't want to miss out! With the ongoing support of local businesses, corporations, state and local government, and public foundations, the diverse programming has expanded LTM’s presence on both sides of the river, gaining it wide recognition as one of the finest community theater companies in the state.

Check the Little Theatre of Manchester web site for upcoming events!


Cheney Hall History

Cheney Hall is located at 177 Hartford Rd., in the heart of the Historic District. The building is a historic Victorian structure and today still serves the purposes for which it was originally built: theatrical and musical events, parties, balls and banquets, and lectures and meetings.

Cheney Hall was built by Cheney Brothers immediately after the Civil War as a community cultural center and theater. It was designed by the artist/architect C. H. Hammatt Billings and was dedicated in 1867 by Horace Greeley. The architecture is that of the French Second Empire style with features including mansard roof, brick and brownstone arches, carved oak and chestnut trim and a magnificently restored 1866 E. & G. G. Hook tracker organ built into the rear wall of the stage.

Over the years the Hall saw many other uses such as high school graduations, boxing exhibitions, and as a hospital during the infamous flu epidemic of 1918, when the usually gay hall was filled with rows and rows of beds, dimly lighted and smelling of carbolic and ether. From the 1920's to the 1970's the Hall served as a fabric showroom for silk and other textile products.

Life as a showroom came to an end in the 1970's and the Hall was virtually abandoned. Cheney Hall was threatened by demolition due to neglect until in 1978 the Historic District was created. That was the impetus for preservation of the mill area and also for the Hall. In 1982 the Hall was donated to the Town and the Cheney Hall Foundation was created by the Manchester Board of Directors to restore and operate Cheney Hall.

The Little Theater of Manchester leased Cheney Hall and agreed to assist in fundraising for the restoration of the building. LTM also acts as the rental agent for private functions held in the Hall. Restoration of the building was completed in 1991 and 124 years after the original dedication, Cheney Hall was rededicated on June 29, 1991.

(This information was provided by the Manchester Historical Society web site)

For more information regarding Cheney Hall and the restoration, Manchester Historical Society has produced an interesting video available at Manchester's Silk City TV.

Meeting Schedule

Quarterly meetings are held the second Wednesday of the month at 5:00pm. Meetings will be Zoom, hybrid and/or in person at Cheney Hall. The 2024 meeting schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, March 13, 2024
Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Wednesday, September 11, 2024
Wednesday, December 11, 2024

Cheney Hall Foundation Meeting Minutes