Saturday, January 10, 2009

Checking out the building

Hello Friends! Maren here...

Today was an exciting day for us! It was the first time we had been in the future home of the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center in a while, and it was wonderful to go and poke around again. We are still waiting for the building to be sold from the City of Minneapolis to Artspace--once that happens we should be able to get in any time--but this was a great opportunity to take photographs and measurements for the next round of plans and renderings.

Throughout the building there are little hints of the building's history as a movie theater. Here is a shot of Ryan and Heather taking measurements of the spots where the movie posters used to be. (Check out the giddy look on Heather's face!)

Our plan is to eventually restore as much of the old movie theater's original facade as we can. This is something we'll have to do as our funding allows so it won't happen right away, but eventually we hope return the original theater marquis and entry, bring back the old tile facade, and restore the entry way to its original form. (If you haven't seen it already, you can see a picture of what it used to look like from a photo that was taken in 1919 on our website at

Here is another little hint of the building's past: the old fashioned push switch for the house lights that is located in the projection room. We are hoping to be able to keep as much of the original project room intact as possible, and it will be our primary class room area.

Here is a shot of the old speaker boxes. If you look closely you can still see some of the detail from the grill work--that's definitely going to stay!

The feeling I had walking through our future home today was that same surge of excitement I had when I first walked through the house that my husband, Scott, and I are restoring today: there is a certain exhilaration in seeing something you know is going to take an incredible amount of work, but knowing what it could be...what it WILL be..that was a rush!