Friday, March 20, 2009

Fancy News - Restoration of the old Movie Theater building reveals ancient Art-Deco frieze!

Repairs to the old victorian building that houses the famous Springfield Movie Theater proceed quickly now that Spring weather is here, and it looks like the well-knit balloon frame that is rapidly filling the burned out sections will incorporate some approximation of the victorian frill of pressed metal and carved wood details that survived the fire but almost succumbed to neglect in the ice and snows of a New England Winter, the neglected remains of some of which has surfaced on the grounds now that the ice is melting.

That the work started just as soon as there was a break in the weather is a pleasant surprise in itself to be sure, but recent observations of the work in progress reveal the hidden traces of what must have been a charming decorative frieze surrounding the entrance of the lobby - charming, even though it must have been as out of place on the victorian front then, as the more recent plasticly horrorific signage was lately. Here are the photos, including this artists brief, gestural interpretation of the hacked remains of the carvings, photoshopped on Seashore, to give a better impression of what was lost.
The facade - what an opportunity for some nice leaded glass of one design or another - does anyone have any pictures that pre-date the art-deco facade to see what was there before these banal factory lights?

On the corners of the entry there are what appear to be gathers of musical instruments and an open book, suggesting a pause in a happy musicale - the picture above shows the details on one of these corners, and the results as the last workmen slavishly followed the architects injuction to remove a whole half of an inch for the precious new work, geesh.

this gives the barest idea of what the same corner detail might have looked like, and of what it could look like again with a little careful work.From the patio looking up - how those fragile painted white cast iron architectural details like the acanthus leaves on the column capitals ever lasted this long is a mystery that may go onsolved for generations to come of Springfielders, as the residents of Springfield, Vermont, Official Home of the Simpsons, are sometimes known.