For nearly 90 years, a Schenectady building has belonged to one family. Preserving the property has helped the current owner pursue his passion and connect to his family’s past. 

In a culture where clutter is often equated with over-consumption. Some objects mean more than others. 

“I am a little cramped for space so every place you look, you are going to see pottery,” said Donald Glennon, owner of Dragonfly Pottery. 

For 12 years Glennon has owned the store on Van Vranken Ave. in Schenectady. The building has been in his family since the 1930’s, when his grandfather opened an ice cream shop. Later it was home to his mother’s bakery but for years it sat empty.

After decades in New York City designing window displays for a department store, Glennon decided to come home. His father was ill and his mother needed help, but the move was a big financial sacrifice. 

“I took a very large cut in salary to come upstate, but it didn’t matter to me,” Glennon said. 

He began doing pottery after his father passed. 

“I didn’t know what to do with it. I had so much of it. And then I got the idea maybe I should store it in the store, made room, and the next thing I knew I was putting a sign out front,” Glennon said. 

Wooden cases, decades ago displaying cookies and pastries, now hold his pottery. 

“I wish they were here to see what I’ve done,” Glennon said. 

Once a week he offers lessons, sharing his skills with curious customers. His inventory is proof that sometimes it is material things that connect us to our past and each other.