Thursday, September 30, 2010

Exterior Restoration: One small step for man, one giant leap for CAFAC

We’ve just made a giant leap towards completing the restoration of the exterior of the historic Nokomis Theatre.

A few months back, the first floor windows and doors made a return (complete with historically appropriate mullion transoms) after years of the front being bricked in.

Next came the unearthing of the gorgeous original encaustic tiles in the second floor parapet (they’d long been hidden under layers of paint). We had once only hoped that remnants of these tiles might still exist, but in our wildest dreams we never imagined that they’d all still be there--and be in such amazing condition!

Then, board member Scott made historically-appropriate wood storm windows to protect our soon-to-arrive replicas of the original (but long-ago removed) Prairie-style stained glass windows, courtesy of the amazing talent and generosity of stained glass artist (and neighborhood resident) Lonny McLaughlin.

But the latest icing on this nearly completed cake is the just-finished exterior paint job, thanks to a generous grant from the Pohlad Foundation! We originally hoped to have the facade (which had been painted for decades) stripped down to the original bare brick, but we soon discovered that there were countless barriers to this approach: aside from a hefty price tag, experts warned that due to the nature of the highly porous brick we would run the risk of not getting the brick clean enough to look good. So, after much deliberation, we decided to investigate the option of painting, and after board member Montana came up with this stunning color scheme (inspired by the historic colors in the original encaustic tiles), we were sold on the idea…and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the results! (Now we just need to get our marquee restored…that will be the cherry on top! Time to do some more fundraising…)

And so, the CAFAC Board is pleased (downright giddy, in fact) to present the beautiful new face of the former historic Nokomis Theatre to the world. Drum roll please…


M. Clinton said...

Stunning. Absolutely stunning. I looked at it up close today and had thought the tile was the inspiration for the color scheme. It was also the first time I had looked at the tile up close. How fortunate it is in such amazing condition. Bravo CAFAC!

Nina Clark said...

You all are amazing. A shining star on Chicago Ave!

jhon said...

Nice post. I am impressed. Keep it up.

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