ROXBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — There’s an urgent push to save the historic writing studio in Litchfield County of a legendary playwright.
“It’s an icon. It’s a relic,” Marc Olivieri said, pointing to a small building, now sitting in a Roxbury town parking lot inconspicuously. Its fascinating story is unknown to passersby.
“He worked in this building. This is where he wrote,” explained Olivieri, noting that “he” is legendary playwright, Arthur Miller, author of “The Crucible” and “Death of a Salesman.”
Miller passed away in 2005.
It was the longtime Roxbury resident’s writing studio where he penned his work after 1958, including the screenplay for “The Misfits,” starring his then-wife, Marilyn Monroe.
“He would have seen a story here. He was a writer, writers like stories,” said Olivieri, a friend and neighbor of the Miller family.
The studio’s story is evolving.
“We basically punched holes in the foundation and put these skis under it,” Olivieri said, explaining that he and his son moved it at the request of Miller’s daughter when the family home was sold in 2018.
“She was concerned about controlling its future,” he said.
While the town allowed Olivieri to place it at its current location, it now needs a new home due to imminent construction involving the lot.
“It has some areas where there’s rot,” he said.
Olivieri is among a group trying to raise $1 million through this GoFundMe page, or maybe an angel donor, to save this space and bring the public inside the area – 22 by 14 feet in size – to see a lamp Miller made and a rack where he placed his famous pipes.
“This was his quiet place,” Olivieri said.
The goal is to have visitors enter through the doors to a roped-off area where they’ll see Miller’s typewriter and books. It would be a chance to see his working environment and get a history lesson.
“In the 60s, it was a tough time, a tumultuous time,” Olivieri said, who believes Miller spoke out for social justice through his work, encouraging conversation, not chaos.
“He was a voice of reason, a calm voice that would look at a problem and turn it into civil discourse instead of Civil War,” Olivieri said.
He believes it’s a lesson that our country needs right now.
Twenty percent of funds raised would be used for restoration.
“The other money would be used for an endowment to enable maintenance and programming and anything the building needs in the future forever,” Olivieri said.
Hopefully, the studio’s new home will be a beautiful, grassy spot behind the Minor Memorial Library.
“I think he would have seen the story of an orphaned building that doesn’t have a home,” Oliveri said.
But now, a plot twist is in the works, hopefully bringing Miller’s beloved space back to life for a second act full of inspiration, reflection, and dialogue.
“It’s become very urgent that we get things done,” Olivieri said.
Click here to learn more about the studio.