Got ideas? Hall Theatre hits 100, faces uncertain future

History, like aging, isn’t for sissies. As this Aug. 28-29, 2016 article outlines, the Hall Theatre is facing an uncertain future as it hits 100. One man, Don Mueller, wants to do something about it.

Now, the 1916 theatre is vacant. Owned by a Stan Kroenke firm, TKG Hall Theatre LLC, it has been vacant since Panera left downtown. So what if Kroenke is worth roughly $8 billion according to Forbes magazine and buys and moves sports teams. It’s up to us, Columbia, to look for ways to keep the historic downtown we’ve got.

So I ask, got ideas? Because a repurposed building is a preserved building. Been to Orr Street Studios? You wouldn’t have wanted to go there in 2005, before Mark Timberlake bought the warehouses and renovated them. Been to Sager Braudis Gallery on Walnut Street? That was a scruffy part of Columbia before John Ott of Alley A Realty renovated it. Now it houses luxury apartments, Wilson’s and a gallery. Scroll down to 2009 and take a peek at the before and after on this page.

This isn’t ancient history. Ott renovated the former grocery warehouse in 2009, Timberlake took his chances on renovating the warehouses in 2005. You can also read more about Ninth Street theatre history in this article I wrote in 2010.

Stephen Daw wrote about it and Alex Scimecca photographed it for the Missourian’s Aug. 28-29, 2016 article. Now it’s our job to take the next step.

 

What are we going to do in 2016?

Got ideas? I’d love to hear them — and I’m sure Don Mueller and TKG Hall Theatre LLC would, too.

 

History literally lights up what you see

Here’s another reason to visit Tallulahs Kitchen store at 812 E. Broadway, in addition to checking out the store’s amazing kitchen tools, gadgets and cookbooks.

Before you go in look up. Really. Above the store front are historic prismatic lenses which were once installed throughout the nation around the turn of the last century to maximize sunlight to supplement indoor lighting.

This article from Missouri Resource Fall 2011, reprinted here with permission, outlines the history of the prismatic lenses and notes how retailers would prefer better lighting and prismatic lenses offered just that.

So what? Who cares about lighting? Well, as a retailer or a consumer — or even an employee or employee — you just might want to consider lighting. This article by Jeffrey Kahn, published April 2009 on Facilitiesnet.com, notes that indirect lighting can make people less productive, the right kind of lighting can make customers linger or even enter an area and bright lighting should be provided to stave off lethargy and, in some cases, Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is connected with a lack of light.

These prismatic lenses also multiply light, so perhaps some day our energy saving efforts will turn our thoughts toward the past to lenses like those at 812 E. Broadway.

History is everywhere – if you know where to look!

 

Ninth and Elm streets until 1969, Columbia Commercial Club

If you thought the destruction of the old Shakespeare’s Pizza at Ninth and Elm the fall of 2015 was a tragedy, it wasn’t the first one at that intersection. This article by Sarah Everett published in the Columbia Business Time on July 27, 2016 shows the a brick building with a columned portico that once occupied the corner opposite Shakespeare’s.

According to the article, that is now the site of the youth center of the Missouri United Methodist Church.

Starting in 1906, it housed the Columbia Commercial Club, the forerunner of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, an organization which successfully campaigned for industry such as the Hamilton Brown Shoe Co. and I-70 and Highway 63. The article notes the last tenant before its destruction in 1969 was the fisheries research department of the Missouri Conservation Commission.

Of course, Shakespeare’s is set to return in August 2016 to the opposite corner on the first floor of the new high-rise apartment building, reportedly the same but better. However, even if the youth center of the church provides valuable services, it’s hard to see that the building that replaced the one torn down in 1969 is an architectural improvement.

It does show, however, that change is constant, even if brick and stone apparently isn’t as solid is one might think.