Refurnishing Boston's Historic Council Chamber

Historian Nathaniel Sheidley and furniture makers Daniel Faia and Matthew Wajda, share the story of refurnishing Boston’s historic Council Chamber at the Old State House.

Boston’s Historic Council Chamber

Thursday, March 13, 2014

6:00 pm

Windgate Gallery

North Bennet Street School
150 North Street, Boston
Free, please RSVP below  

Seat of Empire: Refurnishing Boston’s Historic Council Chamber

The Council Chamber in Boston’s Town House (now the Old State House), where the Royal Governor of Massachusetts met with members of his Council, was once a nerve center for the British empire in North America. This historic room has recently been returned to its appearance during the 1760s when the fate of the British empire turned on the decisions made within its walls. Thanks to an unprecedented collaboration between the Bostonian Society and North Bennet Street School, visitors can now sit in the Governor’s chair and thumb through reproduction documents at the Council table. Historian Nathaniel Sheidley and furniture makers Daniel Faia and Matthew Wajda will discuss the challenges encountered and lessons learned during their work on this project.


Nathaniel Sheidley, Dan Faia, CF '94 and Matt Wajda, CF '00

Dr Nathaniel Sheidley is the senior Historian and Director of Public History at the Bostonian Society.  Originally from Connecticut, he attended Stanford University as an undergraduate and received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University.  Prior to joining the Bostonian Society, Nat taught early American history at Wellesley College.  He is currently directing the Bostonian Society’s ongoing project to reinterpret Boston’s Old State House, the most important public building in the American colonies prior to 1776. 

Dan Faia graduated from North Bennet Street School (NBSS) in 1994 and is the head of the NBSS cabinet and furniture making department. In addition to teaching in the full-time program, Dan teaches NBSS workshops and runs a custom furniture shop in New Hampshire. Prior to joining the NBSS faculty, Dan worked with master craftsmen Phil Lowe, CF '74 and Ron Traposso. Dan regularly lectures and participates in symposiums organized by woodworking organizations throughout New England. When he isn't making furniture or teaching, Dan enjoys writing and has published numerous articles in Fine Woodworking magazine. Samples and video demonstrations of Dan’s wood carving are currently on display at the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston in the Art of the Americas wing. 

Matt Wajda
 is a 2000 graduate of the NBSS Cabinet & Furniture Making program. His custom furniture making business, Piscataqua Design, LLC, is in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He is active in commission and design work and has clients throughout the east coast. Matt's work is often exhibited in galleries in Portsmouth and Boston. Matt teaches workshops regularly through the NBSS continuing education program.

Event RSVP

This form is not currently published.

Receive news, workshop information and/or admissions updates.
Sign up today !

Windgate Gallery
Lectures and events

January 23, 2014

An evening with Emily Zilber, Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts at the MFA Boston.

February 20, 2014

An evening with Darcy Kuronen, Curator of Musical Instruments at the MFA Boston.

March 13, 2014

Refurnishing Boston's Council Chamber at the Old State House.

April 10, 2014

Make/Speak - Contemporary takes on craft by 7 not-so-conventional craftspeople.

May 1, 2014

A lantern restored -- the NBSS preservation carpentry program restores a Dorchester landmark.
Click for details.