The Tanglewood Story
ALAN AND NANCY VIRTS, FOUNDERS
In the words of conservatory architect, Alan:
“I feel unbelievably fortunate to have masters of this almost–lost art — the working of fine wood into spectacular architectural forms — working here at Tanglewood!”
Tanglewood’s Conservatory Production Teams are heirs to a 300 Year Old Craft and Woodworking Tradition. Tanglewood Conservatories’ Co-Founder and Director of Architecture Alan relates his deep respect for the talent of each conservatory architect and artisan: “I’m a woodworker from way back. As a carpenter, I built houses before taking up architecture or custom conservatory design. I like to work with my hands. When I started the company years ago, I could do anything our team could do. I would often pick up a tool, and show them how to do it.”
“Those days are long gone,” Alan continues. “Now when I take complicated conservatory designs to our production department, the team tells me how they would like to build them. It’s a group that exudes a real ‘can do’ energy and enthusiasm.”
Does the world agree with founder Alan’s assessment of his Tanglewood team’s abilities? If acceptance of their work in the marketplace is any indication, demand for Tanglewood’s conservatories forced the company to double the size of its production space in 2000 and again in 2004. “We seem to keep growing. People love what we are able to do!”
The Eastern Shore area of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay—beautiful, rural, and close to the water—is the location of Denton, Tanglewood’s historic hometown. Alan says he knew the local work force was self-reliant and could work wood with style. How self-reliant?
Until 1964 this area was almost inaccessible except by ferry! “It’s a different world with a long tradition of woodworking,” offers Alan.