While this place has stood neglected for many decades, there is still a staggering amount of beauty, just waiting to shake off the dust and rise to welcome Birmingham back inside. We are honored to lead the construction.
Outside the Lyric Theatre, our crews are applying fypon caulking to seal joints on the main sign.
We are rewiring the electrical work inside the building, to ensure it meets modern code. A new opening has been made from the stage to the dressing room areas, and masons are completing the brick work to finish it.
Over the proscenium opening, experts from EverGreene architectural are reapplying the canvas to the wall in the spots where it had separated from the wall. They will then carefully restore the artwork to its original vibrancy. The area overhead is being patched with metal lath.
Inside the Lyric, we continue to move forward with plaster casting and restoration. Experts from EverGreene Architectural are fine tooling the moldings. In damaged spots, they are using pieces of existing material to create molds and fill in gaps where necessary. For example, they used a small patch of an existing air return, repeating the pattern to form a complete circle.
We are continuing to tweak the paint palate to ensure it is both striking and historically correct. The most recent iteration uses rich metallics.
We continue to move ahead with restoration work in partnership with EverGreene Architectural. Their skilled staff is creating molds using siliconized rubber, which they reinforce with layers of burlap. The molds are fine-tooled, then filled with plaster. Each mold takes 28 days to set.
Elsewhere at the Lyric, we are entering the final phases of tuckpointing. HVAC, electrical and plumbing technicians are onsite, as well as masons, roofers and steel erectors.
EverGreene Architectural Arts of New York is performing our plaster restoration. They have performed restoration work for more than 250 historic theaters including Radio City Music Hall, and are doing great work for us in downtown Birmingham.
Their scope of work for us:
- Rebuilding the plaster in spots where it has been damaged by water over the years
- Refreshing and refinishing areas of plaster that are still sound, making it ready for paint
- Period-correct painting of plaster, as determined by a historical finish investigation which identifies designs and color palettes from the original decorative scheme
- Stenciling in the barrel vaults to recreate the original design, as discovered in period pictures
- Restoring and rebuilding ornate medallions, located over air vents and at the tops of chandeliers
- Site casting the original moldings of the ornate plaster details to replicate and fill in damaged areas
Much of the work in progress now includes sculpting and casting of these decorative plaster elements. Molds are made, and then used to form the necessary pieces to replace deteriorated elements. An artisan with both a skilled hand and a scientific knowledge of finishes completes the work.
This week, exterior tuck pointing continues. In the alley off 18th Street, we are building a trench to connect the electrical vault to the Lyric basement, where new the electrical room sits.
We removed the elephant door that joins the stage to the alley, in order to get a rig inside and install micropiles. These metal tubes are drilled into the bedrock, and screwed together as they go into the ground. The installed tubes are filled with grout for stability. This extra structural support is for future rigging equipment that the theatre hopes to add in the next few years.
The dance floor remains in place. We are working on the stage, replacing the original wood with steel and concrete for stability. The basement, also seen in these photos, used to contain dressing rooms. We are now converting the space to storage, reserving an area to accommodate future stage equipment.
In the balconies, seating has been removed and mechanical and fire protection piping is being installed.
Outside the Lyric, tuckpointing continued to repair the brick.
Inside, our team has been working diligently to repair several areas that had been damaged by water over the years.
We are pleased to announce that EverGreene Architectural Arts, highly regarded plaster experts from New York, have been retained for the plaster work within the Lyric. This is a necessity for for both structural integrity and aesthetics.
Starting in January, EverGreene will restore, patch or replace damaged areas. They will also be taking casts of these light fixtures, so an exact replica may be produced.