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Weston's Lachat Site Painted With Possibilities

Keith Brooks made an oil painting of a property on Godfrey Road West in 2006, not realizing that it was the Lachat property.

Brooks, a member of the Weston Commission for the Arts, now hopes the Lachat property can be turned into a cultural center for the arts. He offered to donate his painting to be sent to Mrs. Lachat with a proposal for the property.

"It can be a place where we can have a workshop for artists, sculptors, painters and for people interested in theater productions," he said. The 32 acres of land and 10 more acres of woodlands provide an ideal spot for outdoor concerts and landscape drawing and painting, Brooks said.

Randy Brody, of Weston, proposed a similar idea for the Lachat property on The Daily Weston's Facebook page . "I passed that house so many times and thought it was a beautiful building with potential," said Brody. "It's sad when a structure that has been around for so many years gets knocked down."

Brody envisions a place for people to explore the arts at the Lachat house. Brody is the owner of Sound Directions and hosts drum circles in Weston. On Wednesday, he hosted a drum circle at the senior center's luau at Norfield Congregational Church. "I like that [the Lachat house is] private. It struck me when I saw it. Maybe it's just an intuition that something special should be happening there," said Brody.

Jen Ruddy of the senior center said Brody's drum circle "gets people moving" with "high energy movements that stimulate the body and mind." Brody hopes arts at the Lachat house could promote wellness through such programs as better breathing. This type of use could produce revenue, said Brooks, who says the barns are suitable for workshops.

He said the house's interior and roof are also in good shape. "Not a great deal of money is needed to get the property in shape for occupancy," said Brooks.

The Weston Commission for the Arts will meet Friday morning to discuss a resolution and put down a foundation for a proposal. Brooks said the commission for the arts could solicit donors from Weston and neighboring towns to convert the property into a cultural center.

The town and the Nature Conservancy own the property. There is a $500,000 trust fund in place, 5 percent of which can be drawn down to use for repairs and maintenance, said First Selectman Gayle Weinstein. The Board of Selectmen met in executive session May 5 to discuss a separation agreement with the Nature Conservancy.

What do you think should become of the Lachat property? Send your comments to shenry@mainstreetconnect.us .

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