Monday, May 19, 2008

No news YET from Union Station

Lots of Christian Bale stuff going on in Chicago but no real news yet from my guy there. I know he has talked to CB but that's about it. All quiet on the southern front. The Biograph is available for shooting. (Just thought I would remind MM :-)

From McSkippy - Excitement at Union Station

Speaking of the Auditorium.

As I mentioned yesterday my brother, who is a Historical Preservation Architect has followed the blog off and on and I had mentioned that I had become interested in preserving our 1892 City Hall Auditorium.

This piqued his interested and gave him an excuse to drive up from ILL for a visit. I arranged a meeting with Dale the head of the CAC in charge of looking into preserving the Audi.

It was a learning experience for me as I watched two "geek's" talk about things I knew nothing about.

I did come away with a few major knowledge balloons in my head.

There are two trains(is that right? train?) of thoughts when it comes to this sort of undertaking.

On one hand you can try to preserve the Auditorium to it's original luster. Make it as it was in 1892, a museum piece if you will. This is the cheaper way to go actually.

Or you can try to keep as much as you can but make it a working auditorium with concerts and so forth. This is MUCH MUCH more expensive.

A museum piece is cheap and beautiful. No need for toilets, extra fire exits, massive amounts of ventilation, handicap areas, a working load bearing stage, and huge amounts of safety measures.

You can keep the old seats on their risers and the places would look OUTSTANDING and be relatively cheap to do. This is what the last few attempts had tried . . . . . and failed.

Now Dale and Co want to make the Auditorium a working theater. Out come the risers and old wooden seats and in comes the slanted floor. Oddly, no one makes theater chairs anymore for level floors!

In comes safety and toilets with superior ventilation so 300 people will have fresh air. All this is MUCH MUCH more expensive.

However - fund raising is easier. Look at it from a performing arts view. The CAC comes to you and says we would like to have a fund raiser and would you play. All proceeds will go to a building you will NEVER have a chance to play in. hmmmmmm!

OR All proceeds will go to a building you and many other's can call your home.


One thing I also learned while listening is that the Auditorium, while being vacant for 70+ years and no heat is in remarkable condition. A lot of work needs to be done but it could be SO SO much worse. It's a very well built building.

Tidbits of info - The Auditorium, as far as they can tell was the very first stage in Wisconsin to have electric lights on their stage (as seen in the below photo). They do know that right now it is the oldest, electrical stage in Wisconsin and they THINK it was the first.

I'll probably get someone in trouble for this because I do not have permission to post it (city property) but as we were in the attic this was behind door #1.

It's the clock that runs the clock. It is about 10 feet tall. There are instructions on the wall telling you how to wind it. That white cord contains the actual cables that move the hands of the clock in the tower.


Other random stuff

On this day in 1932 the movie Scarface: The Shame of a Nation opened at the Rialto Theater in Los Angeles. The subtitle The Shame of a Nation was added as a concession to the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, which controlled the content of movies until the late 1960s.

They did not believe American audiences should sympathize with villains. The movie was remade (without the subtitle) in 1983 starring Al Pacino.
Jodie Foster made her screen debut on this date in 1969. She was six years old and appeared in Mayberry R.F.D.
Also on May 19, 1864 President Lincoln proclaimed that dependents of fallen black solders should receive the same benefits as dependents of fallen white solders.

On a side note , do you know where the saying "He bought the farm" came from?

During the American Civil War when a solder died in battle the government would purchase his farm and give it to the widow. So in a way, a solders death was basically "buying the farm" for his wife.
OK - gotta work.

Notice the new little photo thing top left of the blog.

also cheer on DJ - she woke up with no voice today OH OH!!!!! NOT YOU TOO!

Kim Bates - need to talk to you sometime.