The 2006 Stage Floor Renovation Project
Structure - Green Room - Renovated - Cost - History - Help

Picture taken Wednesday, August 30, 2006. The stage and the stage extension are done but the paint trap still has to be cut in. The dust barrier is down and we have started to clean up the hall. The Green Room below the stage (you can still see into it just under the stage) is almost ready for the rough inspections. We are 8 1/2 weeks into the renovation.

Click on the picture for an up to date set of pictures of the renovation.


The Project

The wooden floor of the drama stage at 51 Walden Street, home of FOPAC, has been replaced. The old floor surface had been chewed up from 84 years of heavy use. There were holes from an old heating system. There were gaps that would trip a dancer or actor. The floor had a gentle theater rake, but the rake was bowed making construction of level sets very difficult.

The old stage floor surface:

The Structural Problem


Analysis of the stage floor was conducted by a structural engineering firm. They concluded that the original wooden stage built in 1922 did not meet the current Massachusetts code for weight bearing capacity. In some areas the floor was more than 100 pounds per square foot UNDER the code.

Therefore in order to ensure the safety of the performers and adhere to current code, we had to make the required structural repairs to the floor.

The Green Room

From decades of use by hundreds of shows the current Green Room and dressing rooms were badly in need of renovation. They are directly beneath the stage floor. To make the structural repairs to the stage floor, all the rooms beneath the stage floor were completely demolished and have been re-built. Thus, the whole area under the stage will be totally renovated

The Green Room and dressing rooms as they looked before the renovation:


The Green Room renovated


Sketch by architect Dan Broggi, Four Architecture, Inc. Boston who has generously volunteered his time to design this project.


The Cost

The cost for the entire project is approximately $240,000. Work was completed in the summer and fall of 2006 - ready for the 87th season for the Concord Players.

We are thrilled that the FOPAC request for $60,000 to the Concord Community Preservation Committee (CPC) which recognizes the historic value of 51 Walden as well as the cultural activities it provides to the community was approved April 25th by the voters at Concord’s Town Meeting.  This is a matching funds appropriation. Today we have raised over $73,000 from a mailed appeal to our community of theater goers and Friends of 51 Walden. But, to reach the full $240,000 we have a long way to go. (see What You Can do to Help below)


The History of 51 Walden

51 Walden

51 Walden Street is an important, cultural and performing arts facility in Concord and it is a wonderful resource for our community. It has a long and distinguished history. It has served the town well in many capacities over many years.

It was built as an armory in 1887 by the town and used by military companies for many years. Damaged by fire in 1912, the building was repaired by the town in 1920 and renamed "The Veterans Building". The Concord Players were founded in 1919 and a theatrical stage was constructed in 1922 made entirely of wood.

FOPAC graphic

Friends of the Performing Arts in Concord (FOPAC) was incorporated in 1972 and charged to renovate the building and operate it as a center for the performing arts hosting countless events for our community. You may have enjoyed performances by one of the FOPAC groups in residence—the Concord Players, the Concord Band, or the Concord Orchestra. Since 1972, hundreds of residents have participated in these performances and audiences have numbered in the thousands. Someone in your family may have taken dance lessons in the studio upstairs or attended a concert put on by one of many of the visiting musical groups. This facility is an extraordinary resource for our town.

FOPAC and the resident groups have gone well beyond their responsibilities under the terms of the lease from the town concerning maintenance and upkeep of 51 Walden. In the mid-1970s the Players built a workshop behind the stage to construct scenery and work on sets. The Orchestra installed acoustical panels for the music stage as well as a reverberation enhancement system to improve the building for musical performances. FOPAC funded the renovations of the public rest rooms, and in 1999, the Players and FOPAC raised funds to reinforce the proscenium arch and the grid and replaced counterweight system on the stage.

It is a treasure to be maintained and preserved carefully for the benefit of future generations


What You Can Do To help

Now we seek your help. This is only the second time in the history of FOPAC and the Players that we have appealed directly to the public for financial support. Think hard about what 51 Walden means to you, your family, and our community.

Please be as generous as you can be in support of this important project.

At present we are accepting donations only by check. Please make your check payable to:
Concord Players 51 Walden Renovations and send to:

The Concord Players
51 Walden Renovations
P. O. Box 22
Concord, MA 01742