Landmarks In New York Honored

The New York Landmarks Conservancy held its 18th Annual Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards on April 20. Among the recipients are Jamaica Performing Arts Center and Longacre Theatre. The ceremony was held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, also one of the awardees. This year's full list of project award recipients are listed here.

Here are the summaries of the theatres chosen:

Longacre Theatre

longacre-exterior-reduced.jpgThe elaborate, interior of the 1913 Longacre Theatre is one of the few interior landmarks designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which called it “one of the historic theater interiors that symbolize American theater.” After many years of active use, a two-year campaign was initiated to restore the lush Beaux-Arts interior to its original glamour. The work included recreation of many historic elaborate plasterwork details that had been lost to previous repairs, restoration of gilded finishes and marble surfaces, modernization of the technical infrastructure on the interior, and restoration and cleaning of the French neo-Classical limestone façade.

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Jamaica Performing Arts Center

This project is an excellent example of the adaptive reuse of a religious property. The former First Reformed Church in Jamaica was built in 1858-59, designed by Sydney J. Young. The apse at the rear of the building is a 1902 addition designed by the Jamaica firm Tuthill & Higgins. The building is notable for its asymmetrical towers, round-arched window and door openings, corbelled brick work and the 16 beautiful stained glass windows. After the congregation was moved from the building in 1973 as part of the City's Central Jamaica Urban Redevelopment Project, it stood empty for 23 of the next 31 years. In 2004 the restoration and reuse process began, spearheaded by local arts and community development groups and multiple Borough Presidents. Today the exterior has been restored and the interior transformed with flexible performing arts spaces, a conference center for community use, and an outdoor performance space, in a building with a restored façade, new slate roof, and restored and new stained glass windows.

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