The Lyric celebrated its grand reopening January 14-16, 2016, with a modern vaudeville show that warranted sold out crowds and a standing ovation each night. al.com covered the event
As we move closer to our completion date, it’s exciting to see the Lyric coming together. Recently, our team has been using old ventilation tunnels to run audio visual conduit to the stage, as well as electric floor boxes for seat lighting. Opera box installation moves forward with EverGreene Architectural at the helm, and seating on the mezzanine level is being installed.
The original Lyric Theatre featured 12 beautiful opera boxes. When Panavision came to the theatre in 1958, the opera boxes were torn down to make way for the screen. Since we are trying to restore the theatre to its original design, EverGreene has been tasked with recreating the boxes. Since we don’t have drawings of the old theatre, the plaster panels you see in images above modeled after old photographs of the Lyric. Once painted, they should be an incredible part of the audience chamber.
The mayor was on hand, and led a group pouring plaster into molds, so that these folks had a physical part in the restoration.
Photo by Joseph De Sciose
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.
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.