Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Preservation Weekly

Fox Theatre: Atlanta’s Preservation Gem

The “Fabulous” Fox Theatre is a preservation success story that acts a beacon of hope for other preservation endeavors in the city of Atlanta. Originally built for the Shriners of Atlanta, it was turned into a theatre by William Fox and offered a respite for Atlantans during the Great Depression and continued as a successful theater on into the 1960s. However, in the 1970s, it was threatened by demolition. In response, Atlanta Landmarks Inc. was created and the theatre was nominated it to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. A “Save the Fox” grass roots campaign formed championed by local high school students demonstrating the local and cultural importance of the theatre. It was not just the interestingly unique architecture that sparked this impassioned crusade but the memories and experiences the people of Atlanta shared through this cultural landmark. The Fox has faced bankruptcy and suburban sprawl as well as TV and managed to survive and flourish. The theatre leaves an indelible mark to anyone who sees it.

Today, the Fox theatre is still operational as a theatre and also as a museum. It still houses its original furniture and light fixtures and is home to the second largest theater organ in the world, a Moller organ affectionately known as "Mighty Mo." This week The Fox is hosting a Seminar, “‘It Ain’t Easy Being Green’, Creating a Sustainable Future for Your Historic Structure.” The event will be hosted at The Fox Theatre in the Grand Salon on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 from 10 am to 4 pm. I will be attending. I am shamed to say in the thirteen years that I have lived in Georgia I have never been inside the Fox. Very uncharacteristic of my background, but after learning so much about the theatre’s history, walking through the doors will be twice as exciting because I know what this place means to so many. One thing is sure Atlanta loves the Fox.
The Georgia Trust 2010 Fall Ramble will be in Atlanta September 11-12. The Fox Theatre will be a Ramble site. For more information check out our website.

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