The American Shakespeare Theatre Fire, Stratford, Connecticut

Issue 10 and Volume 172.

By Michael Camperlengo The American Shakespeare Theatre opened in July 1955 in Stratford, Connecticut, and many notable actors and actresses had performed there over the years. The six-story structure of mostly ordinary construction (Type 3) and some fire-resistive (Type 2) construction featured a teakwood exterior over a masonry and unprotected steel superstructure. The theatre was in a densely populated residential neighborhood of mostly wood-frame dwellings. Two marinas and several multiple dwellings were in close proximity to the Elm Street structure. The weather was partly cloudy with winds from the northwest between five and 15 miles per hour. The temperature at the start of the fire was 21°F and fell to 19°F. (1) The American Shakespeare Theatre in 1955, looking at the Elm Street or A side of the structure. (Photo courtesy of the Town of Stratford Office of the Assessor.) Dispatch The Stratford 911 Center began receiving calls reporting the…

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