May to October 2019
The facade project at The Lansdowne was completed October 15th. The photograph on the left is the "before." Notice the encrusted corbel, under the balcony, and compare it to "after" on the right. Look atop the window surround -- the cast stone finials were refabricated and are back in place for the first time since the 1960s. The metal balcony railing is repainted and the marble above the window has been replaced. Thanks go out to the Materials Conservation Team--- Dave, Lee, Toby and Ben for their great work. Many thanks to the project funders--- DELCO Council, The Presser Foundation, The Connelly Foundation and donors to the theater's Annual Fund.
The "before" photo. The cast stone corbel under the balcony is filthy. There's biological growth on the face of the balcony, the mortar joints in the cast stone have lost all their pointing. The bases of the finials are on top of the window surround, but the finials are gone. The stucco and cast stone need a real good cleaning!
The "after" photo of the decorative windows on the tour of The Lansdowne. The cast stone finials on top of the window are back, the broken marble is replaced, the pointing of the cast stone is complete. The railing has been cleaned and repainted. The stucco has been cleaned and repainted to match the original.
Check out more photos from the facade restoration project. Hover over the photo for a description.
May to June 2019
Check out the mock-up on the ceiling of the theater. The finishes on the right side of the ceiling appear as it would have in 1927. Half of the shield in the background has been regilded with "Dutch Gold" and aluminum leaf. Note that the cornice has also been regilded with "Dutch Gold" and the tiles on the right side of the wall have been redone so that they appear to be dimensional rather than flat. The overall effect of the restoration of the ceiling will result in a much brighter room that matches how the space appeared when new.
Jeff Greene, Chairman of EverGreene Architectural Arts, explains how his firm created a mockup that provides a glimpse into the how the ceiling and other details will appear once restored.
September 2017 to May 2018
Funding to complete the window restoration came from The Presser Foundation and the PA Historical and Museum Commission. The expert conservation team at Materials Conservation restored the original windows on the front and south side of the building. Because windows are exposed to the elements they take a real beating. Unfortunately, sometimes they need to be replaced -- NOT at The Lansdowne. These galvanized steel windows were built to last. 90 years old and looking and working great! Ready for another 90+ years of service.
Happiness is having restored windows reinstalled at the theater just as the temperature starts dropping! The foreman for this job is Lansdowne resident Dave Facenda. Thanks go out to Dave and his crew for their great work!
For those of you who love restored old hardware, below are the original window lock, window pull, and sash pulley. Pretty cool!
Outdoor Lobby & Ticket Booth
Dec 2014 to Sept 2015
The long awaited restoration of the Lansdowne Theater Outdoor Lobby was put out for bid on December 18th, 2014. The project included the restoration of the ticket booth, poster cases, stucco, front door, light fixtures and fabrication of the long-ago removed poster cases on the front of the theater. The restoration is funded by a Community Development Block Grant awarded to the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation by Delaware County Council.
Design fees for the project are supported by generous contributions from the theater supporters.
Pendant lights behind ticket booth removed for restoration. These pendent lights have hung in the lobby since the theater opened in June 1927. Multiple generations of insects have called the light fixtures home.
At last the Pepto Bismol pink is gone from the Lansdowne Theater. With the repair and smoothing of the plaster cornice the lobby has been primed. We had two historic pieces of glass that sat in the light fixtures for over 80 years. We used them to make new pieces to replace the missing. The custom made glass is a small element of the overall project, but when all the small components are in place you are struck that you have stepped into a very special place.
After removing many, many layers of paint Materials Conservation discovered these great colors. Now sitting in front of the textured stucco cut to appear as if they are building blocks, the historic poster cases look great and change the entire feel of the outdoor lobby. Little by little we better understand what Wm. H. Lee the architect who designed the theater in 1927 was doing.
The cresting mimics the detail on the historic poster cases. The color scheme comes from the original poster cases. Our wonderful volunteer graphic designer Carol Coster designed a new logo for the theater featuring the lioness depicted in plaster in in the interior.
Most of the original wood of the ticket booth was replaced over the years, and what was left was eaten by termites or impacted by water. However,, the outer skin -- the 1930s stainless steel was salvaged, and all of the marble will be used again. Some of the 1927 details that were hidden by the stainless steel, but unseen since the '30s were put back on the booth and covered by the steel -- for the next people to find when the booth needs to be restored 80 years from now.)
All of the electrical wiring was redone for the new poster cases that will grace the front of the building and the electricity to the booth is now below the sidewalk.