Friday, January 14, 2011
Residents watched facility's transformation through the years during Thursday presentation.
The Des Plaines Theatre has endured many renovations, inside and out, over the years and even remained standing after a fire. Now workers are literally peeling back the decades to restore the theater to its original state. With the new remodeling under way, residents gathered at the Des Plaines History Center's monthly program, Coffee Talk, to discuss the evolution of the theater. Brian Wolf, lifelong resident, history preservationist and writer of Revitalize Des Plaines! (he's also a Patch contributor) lead the discussion showing pictures of the theater throughout the years and pieces of the original building. In sharing the history of the theater, Wolf hopes it will remind residents why they love it and why it’s worth saving. “I think we…
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Easily overlooked, the 1957 First National Bank Building is a timeless and handsome part of downtown.
The building at the southeast corner of Prairie Avenue and Lee Street is easily overlooked today, but in its time it was state of the art. It is the 1957 First National Bank of Des Plaines building. Recently sold to the Greek-American Restaurant Association of America, the building stands poised to again play an important role in the community. It will soon house Plato Academy, a small private school that is currently located in Morton Grove. The bank, founded in 1913 and housed since 1937 in the former Des Plaines State Bank building, was bursting at the seams. As Des Plaines experienced dramatic growth and many new subdivisions were created, demand likewise rose for banking services. In particular, First National found a need for more …
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The dividing wall is down and the drop ceiling is gone. Here's what it looks like.
Workers today removed the last pieces of the drop ceiling and wall that have divided the Des Plaines Theatre into 2 screens. Brian Wolf was there to capture what was discovered. Much work remains ahead, including extensive plastering and painting.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
As the Des Plaines Theatre comes back from the dark, we look back at its early years and first renovation.
I'm a 24-year-old lifelong Des Plaines resident, and I'm excited to be a contributing to Des Plaines Patch. I've always been fascinated with the deep roots in Des Plaines - including my own family, here since 1915. As I learned more about our history, I realized how hard it could be to casually discover our history, especially the history embodied in our buildings. So I started a blog, Revitalize Des Plaines!, in March 2009 to share what I found. To my surprise, it caught on; Revitalize Des Plaines! now has over 1,400 fans on Facebook discovering and sharing our history. I am a preservationist. I believe the way to a thriving, stable future is by building on the strengths of the past. I'll be providing previews of history articles one week…
Thursday, October 28, 2010
As the Des Plaines Theater begins renovations to restore it to a fully functioning stage production and movie house, Des Plaines Patch took a behind the scenes look at the work ahead.
As renovations begin on the Des Plaines Theater, built in 1925 as a vaudeville theater, to restore the historical landmark to its once regal beauty as it becomes a fully functioning stage production and movie house once again, Des Plaines Patch took an inside peak into the work that lay ahead. We toured the back of the house with owner Dhitu Bhagwater and project manager Gay Miezen, director of development at Stage One Productions in Des Plaines last week and snapped more than 100 photos of the theater, which we whittled down to around 50. Taking photographs was difficult as many of the areas were dimly lit and often rooms were pitch black, with the only light source coming from the flash in the camera. It was a little spooky in there too …