Allen Townsend has a long time passion for building and creating things.
His interest started as a young boy while helping his father build things. Allen has been working with wood for many years. His first project was a box he built while in high school to organize his drafting instruments. His first furniture piece was a mahogany English butler’s table built in 1972. He learned casework construction by building 18th century reproductions of a Queen Anne high boy and a low boy dresser from the Bartley collection . He took his only woodworking class at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport Maine in 2010. His current works are influenced by the works of Michael Fortune and Jere Osgood.
Allen primarily does furniture pieces intended to be unique and enduring. He likes to use classical proportions and make variations of classical designs modified to include graceful curves. He has designed and built a number of pieces including some for commissions. His work includes dressers, chests, cabinets, desks, many styles of tables both large and small, bookshelves, display shelves, and a variety of smaller pieces like a jewelry box and wedding cake stands. All are individually designed pieces and built in some combination of hardwoods such as cherry, mahogany, birdseye maple, and lacewood. Recent pieces include a coffee table with a walnut base with three way miter joints and a cherry top with a wenge inlay; as well as a pair of entry tables with stylized cabriole legs in cherry and lacewood. An unusual piece was a six foot tall Queen Anne style birdcage.
His latest public piece is an altar for Christ Church in Andover. It was included in a renovation of the sanctuary. This altar is his second “public” piece. Earlier he designed and built two semicircular bookcases in oak and cherry for the South Branch of the Peabody Institute Library. These bookcases were donated in memory of Dorothy L Reid, Carol’s mother.
Allen was born and raised in Overland, Mo, a suburb of St. Louis. He earned a BSME at the University of Missouri at Rolla, a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an MBA from Boston University. His professional career was with Bell Telephone Laboratories and later Lucent Technologies first as an engineer, and then as a technical manager.
He lives in Andover with his wife, Carol Reid. Carol is a financial executive and serves on the Board of Directors of Enterprise Bank and other non profit and educational boards. They have two sons, Justin and Stuart.