Weekapaug Inn Project Receives “Rhody Award” for Historic Preservation

RUMFORD, RI – At the September 29 Rhode Island Preservation Celebration the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission and Preserve Rhode Island bestowed a 2013 Rhody Award to Lang Wheeler for the historic renovation of the Weekapaug Inn in Westerly, RI. The Rhody Awards are chosen from nominations by the public and honor individuals, organizations and projects for their contributions to the preservation of Rhode Island’s historic places.

The Weekapaug Inn, sister property to the Ocean House, re-opened in October 2012 after a $20 million historic restoration. New England Construction served as Construction Manager, along with the team of designers including Arris Design Studio, Inc. of Baltimore, MD and Taylor Interior Design of Providence, RI.  The team worked diligently along with Lang Wheeler and Charles Royce restoring the Inn to incorporate many updated features, while preserving the character and historic charm of the original structure.  “New England Construction was chosen as Construction Manager for the historic restoration of the Weekapaug Inn because of their depth of experience, quality of work and commitment to their clients.  It was the right choice.” Edward B. Wetherill, Owner’s Representative.

After much of the original Inn (constructed in 1899) and coastline was decimated in the Hurricane of 1938, the Buffum family rebuilt the Inn in a new location, which opened in 1939.  The Inn was open for 108 years until it closed in 2007 for renovations.  In April 2010, Charles Royce and Langdon Wheeler, principals of Weekapaug Inn & Cottages LLC, purchased the Inn from James and Dee Dee Buffum, fourth-generation operators of the property.  The Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and adhered to many strict standards to maintain this prestigious classification. Inspectors from the RI Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission marked and recorded original construction and furnishings. The exact footprint of the original 1939 structure, as well as the entire exterior have been faithfully restored, as have many of the rooms and much of the original interior architecture. The exterior of the Inn still boasts a classic, shingle-style exterior coupled with red-cedar shingled walls with dark trim and wide porches.

The Inn offers sweeping views of Block Island Sound, Quonochontaug Pond and lush gardens from its 27 guest rooms and four two-bedroom signature suites.  Each of the impeccably appointed guest rooms features a unique color palette and a fresh use of existing Inn furnishings, while incorporating luxurious amenities including private bathrooms with radiant heated marble floors, heated towel racks and deep soaking tubs. The four signature suites include a spacious sitting area, full kitchen, dining room, two-bedrooms, a study with a fireplace, as well as a private elevator and entrance. The two main dining areas incorporate hardwood maple floors from the original Inn and the main reception area features hand-painted murals of the natural landscape of Quonochontaug Pond, wild life and the like.  The Inn now has a private waste treatment facility to properly handle sanitary sewer requirements in this environmentally sensitive environment. The new three-lane, 25-yard lap pool is heated from the geothermal wells on site and is adjacent to the Fenway Cottage which houses the fitness center, exercise room and three guest rooms on the second floor   While performing work on the foundation, several boulders were unearthed and were subsequently utilized to construct a new amphitheater adjacent to the outdoor fireplace.

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