Tuesday, February 25, 2014

REVIVE: CAN HAMILTON THEATRE BE SAVED?

A recent article in DNAinfo reveals the efforts of Community Board 9 to save the interior of the Hamilton Theatre at 146th and Broadway.  Working with the Landmark Preservation Comission,  CB9 has made it possible to have luxury towers built behind the theater in hopes to getting a residential developer in who will help fund the complete restoration of the intact interior.

The main issue here is that the commercial developer who purchased the grand landmark never intended to fix up the facade and only wanted to attract a large retailer for the Broadway portion of The Hamilton.  CB9 has now put forth an ambitious plan to aid in restoring the back theater by suggesting that condos be built. Condos are being developed in the neighborhood with the purchase of historic property but most of the old structures are being demolished.  This development idea will not only help restore the building along with the ornate interior, but also will bring in a community space worthy of banquets and grand cultural events.

What needs to happen now is a partnership with a residential developer (since the current owner deals solely in retail) and also some sort of non-profit like Friends of the Highline to come in and run the financing along with the operations of the community theater space.  Anyone with connections should really check this development out for it could be one of the most breathtaking adaptive reuse concepts uptown.  Outside of the Apollo, we do not know of any other Harlem Theater that has faithfully been restored to its original design on the outside and inside.

More details in DNAinfo: LINK

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