Storm cancels Antiques Show

WESTON, Vt. – When an unprecedented storm inundated the State of Vermont on July 10, Weston, along with the neighboring towns of Londonderry and Ludlow, was among the poster children for flooding damage. Of course, the state capital, Montpelier, and many other communities also suffered in the extreme.

Most buildings in the village suffered mild to very severe damage. The Weston Playhouse, best known as the main stage for the wonderful productions of the Weston Theater Company, is also home to the Weston Antiques Show, among other events, and was badly hit. In spite of shutters, windows were breeched, and the rampant West River poured over seven feet of water, mud, and debris into the lower level. The controls for the fire alarm and sprinkler systems were submerged, and the fire marshall has deemed the building unfit for public gatherings until they are replaced, estimated to take three to four months. Virtually all other contents of the lower level were ruined as well.

Flood waters even entered the lowest levels of the theater itself, damaging the flooring and seats of the front rows, and elements of the stage.

The Board of the Weston Community Association, owners of the Playhouse, met in special session and, confronted by the inevitable, reluctantly cancelled what would have been the 63rd Weston Antiques Show.

But the board did more than cancel. Plans were set forth to make the Playhouse much more impervious to future weather events. President David Raymond observed, “This is the second ‘storm of the century’ in just 12 years. I think we need to change our definitions, our nomenclature. We’re looking at a new paradigm – maybe a new normal. And we’ve got to be prepared.”

All electrical and mechanical controls, including the fire systems, are being moved above grade. The heating boilers that were downstairs are also being moved, and will sequentially be replaced by in-wall heat pumps. The windows that admitted the floodwaters will be sealed, and enhanced barriers between the building and the river are being explored.

The following steps had already been taken when the board met: first, the building had been thoroughly and professionally cleaned by the firm of Serv-Pro (after a battalion of determined volunteers removed everything portable from the downstairs). Then, an engineer’s assessment confirmed that the building remains structurally solid.

The WCA wants to assure the community that the Playhouse that they have known will be restored, just more secure, as we look to the future.

Back To Top