With time, the mortar on masonry can fail. Crumbling joints aren’t just unappealing in an aesthetic sense. They can allow bricks to come loose or water to seep behind the wall. If left alone, deterioration can accelerate and cause even bigger problems.
At the Lyric, crews have started to repair the aging masonry. We have 8 bucks of scaffolding attached to the building, 48 feet high. We are “tuck-pointing,” sawing out damaged joints and replacing them with fresh mortar.
Last week, the Theatre played host to a brief but important ceremony. Two Birmingham theatrical producers launched Broadway plays that won coveted Tony Awards. Mayor William Bell presented “Lyric Leading Light Awards” to honor them. Recipients were Kathryn & Raymond Harbert/Keith Cromwell honoring the Tony Awards they’ve won for Bridges of Madison County and Louise Beard for winning the Best Musical Tony for her production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.
Stewart Perry Vice President Bruce Adams was on hand to discuss construction progress and completions dates. Click here to review ABC 33-40’s coverage of the event.
Today, the folks at the Lyric shared a couple of exterior shots that were taken in 1913, the year of original construction.
We are on track for completion next summer, as reported in the Birmingham Business Journal.
We are pleased to share that asbestos abatement has been completed at the Lyric, readying the theatre for cosmetic restoration.
The web of scaffolding remains in place, now ready to serve its second purpose–providing plaster crews access to the theatre’s ornate walls and ceilings. Upon receipt of the final drawings, these experienced professionals will begin refinishing well-worn surfaces, section by section.
The last couple of weeks have been all about internal construction structures. Crews are currently erecting the “dance floor” scaffolding, which is level with the 3rd floor balcony. This will allow asbestos and lead paint abatement crews to start their work on Monday, March 17. Abatement will carry on into April, a period when the theatre will be largely sealed off for health and safety reasons.
Welcome to Restore the Lyric, a narrative of construction activity at The Lyric Theatre. Join us as we log the revitalization of this historical structure, which has been standing in the heart of downtown Birmingham since 1914.
Back in the 1920s, The Lyric Theatre was the finest performing arts theatre in the city of Birmingham. It offers a wider stage situated closer to the audience, perfect for symphony, ballet, opera and theatre. Unfortunately, it has fallen into disrepair over the years.
These images depict The Lyric at construction start, before a historical renovation brings it back to the glory of 100 years ago. Phase I updates will include exterior rehabilitation, the full restoration of the lobby and auditorium, plaster repair, seating, the stage, HVAC, restrooms, etc. A campaign for additional funding to cover incidentals is still ongoing at www.lightupthelyric.com.