Bennington Police search for giant chair vandals

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BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) — Police are looking for some vandals after four people sat in the small town icon, Bennington’s big chair. One person fell right through it, and police got the whole thing on surveillance video.

Standing at more than 19 feet tall, Bennington’s big chair feels like it’s always been there. “Everybody knows about the chair, and everybody gets pictures taken in front of the chair,” says Jim Martinez.

According to Bennington Police, on Thursday at around 3:20 a.m. two men and two women climbed on the large chair outside of the Tri-State Area Federal Credit Union on Washington Avenue. While on top of the chair they broke the seat. One of the women appeared to get injured and had to be carried away by one of the men.

Jim Martinez, president of the Tri State Area Federal Credit Union, is the owner of the chair. He says it’s been a staple since the 1940s. “It’s a piece of history, and we want people to appreciate it. We want it to stay here, so stay off the chair, and well apparently it didn’t work.”

One side of the seat of the chair is completely broken off and hanging by a thread. Martinez says there were signs all over the chair to keep off. “We talked about maybe getting a decorative fencing to keep people out. However, if people want to get on it, though—I suspect we won’t be able to stop it,” said Martinez.

The chair will need a tune-up to its structure and seat. New wood and rope could be necessary. “We’ll fix it and it will be better and stronger than ever,” said Martinez.

Paula LaPorte, Owner of Paulas Weaving Workshop and Rock Shop, wove the seat years ago. She did it in three days, she says she’s ready to do it again. “I said, ‘Sure!’ I know the people who make the rope and that they still make it. We can do it and now my shop is right across the street from it,” she said.

It will not be an overnight fix, but the chair will always be one that makes you stop and stare. Police are asking if anyone has any information on who these individuals are to contact Officer Legacy at (802) 442-1030.

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