As the RNC inches closer, renovation projects in Cleveland are continuing to take shape.
For those in town for the RNC, taking in a show at Playhouse Square will be limited to “Steel Magnolias” at the Allen Theatre, but the rest of the complex will be getting a lot of use. The RNC has contracted use of the Playhouse Square facilities throughout the week and they’ll be getting a freshly renovated complex that starts when you enter off the street.
Tom Einhouse, VP of facilities and capital at Playhouse Square says, “From the Euclid Avenue doors to the proscenium, everything has been redone.”
They’ve repainted auditoriums and lobbies, added classical decoration, redone the restrooms, enhanced the lighting with new chandeliers and now they’re looking forward to wowing everyone with a throwback of vintage architecture.
“What’s happening in the Ohio is huge, I mean it’s historical. We’re actually putting back a Thomas Lamb creation. Thomas Lamb was a preeminent architect of historic theaters in our country in the 20s and we’re putting back one of his original pieces that was destroyed in 1964,” said Einhouse.
The piece is the original Ohio Theatre lobby, which was built in 1921 and destroyed by a fire. Now, Playhouse Square is working off the original blueprints to replicate the masterpiece.
Work has been finished on the 150 ft by 35 ft ceiling filled with hand sculpted pieces and now crews move to the 8 columns, 2 fireplaces, 2 display cases and 3 giant murals.
Einhouse says everything is on track to be completed by May 19th. “We were going to do these renovations anyway, but the RNC was certainly a great goal for us to hit. Clearly the work we did in the State, the work we are doing in the Ohio and the bathrooms, the RNC was a great motivator for us.”
Next on the list will be to improve seating in the balconies and some other little projects that they’re not quite ready to release details on. All the recent changes have been a part of the “Advancing the Legacy Campaign” which is at about 67 million dollars of the 100 million dollar goal.