Dot’s Restaurant was severely flooded when Hurricane Irene pummeled southern Vermont in August 2011. The Deerfield River in Wilmington swelled eight feet in 15 minutes, rushing through downtown, flooding dozens of businesses along the classic New England streetscape—a surge that forced Dot’s Restaurant off its foundation, severely damaging the iconic eatery. The community pulled together, and, with help from FEMA and the State of Vermont, were able to raise the necessary funds—nearly $1,000,000—to reconstruct the restaurant in downtown Wilmington. In order to reconstruct, the historic building had to be retrofitted to comply with flood proofing standards.
The project’s goals included thoroughly reconstructing and restoring the historic dining area, constructing a new kitchen, and building in a flood resistant manner. The revived and restored Dot’s Restaurant features a fresh new interior with seating now overlooking the river. The kitchen is more efficient and meets all current codes. The finished building exceeded the client’s expectations and blends nicely into the historic downtown Main Street.
This project has won two awards: one for engineering excellence from the Vermont chapter of ACEC (ACEC/VT), and another for historic preservation from the Preservation Trust of Vermont.