The Beacon Gun Factory Turned Stylish Wedding Venue

When Robert McAlpine set out to revive the site of the old Matteawan Manufacturing Company in 2010, he wanted to preserve as much history as possible. At different times home to a textile manufacturing plant, a dye works, a Civil War gun factory, and a machine shop that produced the nation’s first mechanical lawnmowers, the property’s oldest buildings date back nearly 200 years.

It was still a construction zone when Tim and Stephanie Wheeler came looking for a place to tie the knot. But, rather than scare them off, the project intrigued them. “After talking and getting some history on the buildings and what their vision was we signed the contract two days later,” says Stephanie, praising the Roundhouse for its walls rebuilt with original bricks, exposed wood beams, and stunning views. “We both were born and raised in that area,” she added, “so the idea of having our wedding at a place that took history into consideration and wanted to restore it rather then bulldoze it was really special to us.”

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With a team made up almost entirely of Beacon residents or businesses, construction crews restored the original windows and used original bricks whenever possible. Old floorboards now line the hallways in the 14-room hotel, which also has two restaurants, a lounge, and a spa. (A second building, due to be finished at the end of 2013, will house an additional 27 rooms.) Finished just in time for the Wheelers’ September 2012 wedding, the Waterfall Room is located in the oldest building on the property, and fits 200 guests for dinner and dancing. Its floor-to-ceiling windows and wraparound terrace provide views of both Fishkill Creek and Beacon Falls. 

For the ceremony, the bridal party walked to a church just across the street, but couples may also say “I do” in the garden that looks out to Mount Beacon. Safe from the rain, cocktail hour took place in a mezzanine space called The Gallery, which can also be used for smaller parties. At dinner, guests chose between scallops with risotto or filet mignon with garlic mashed potatoes and sat at tables with scattered river rocks, wildflowers in colored glass vases, and tree-slice coasters created by the groom. “I kept my decor very simple,” says Stephanie, “because I felt the building was decoration enough.”

As part of the venue’s “keep it local” philosophy, classically trained Executive Chef Brandon Collins uses local ingredients, and many design elements come from local artisans. Wedding packages range from $160 to $185 per person. 

Exterior photo by Cynthia DelConte, Day for Night Productions; all others by Sarah Tew Photography

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