Darte Center

Agnes Flood Walking Tour

Learn more about the buildings and locations that were most affected by the historic Hurricane Agnes flood with the Remembering Agnes walking tour.


Wilkes College acquired the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center in 1964 from the Wyoming Valley Society of Arts and Sciences.
Damage within the Darte Center after Hurricane Agnes
The Darte Center sustained nearly $2 million in damages from Agnes, including seats, carpeting and two grand pianos.

The Society had initially purchased the land from two Conyngham homes that were demolished in the 1920s and wanted to build an art museum and cultural center, however hard financial times during the Great Depression resulted in the termination of these projects. In the 1940s, Gilbert Stuart McClintock, a Wilkes College Board of Trustees member, met with the Society board to suggest the transfer of the property to Wilkes College. With the generous gift of Dorothy Dickson Darte, the Sordoni Construction Company built the performing arts center in 1964 and the adjoining music building in 1969. She preferred to remain an anonymous donor until her daughter, Katherine Darling, gave permission after Darte’s death in 1969 to have the building bear her name. The building is two stories tall and houses the music and theater departments.

The Impact of Agnes

The Darte Center suffered approximately $1,750,000 in damages from Hurricane Agnes flood in 1972, with six-to-eight rows of seats, furniture, carpeting, electric panels, two grand pianos, as well as additional resources such as instruments, costumes, and other set equipment needing replacements. After the building was repaired, a December 1972 production of Hello Dolly was produced to benefit victims affected by the flood.

Darte Center before Hurricane Agnes
Before the Flood
Darte Center after Hurricane Agnes
After the Flood

View More Photos of the Hurricane Agnes Flood external website

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