idea back then to sell that off as a separately deeded unit,” Bond says. This spring, the Foundation entered into an agreement with the owners of Banning’s Restaurant, the other major tenant in the building, to give up the space it owned under the balcony and in the basement. “It’s been like Humpty-Dumpty. Putting the proper t y ow nership back together was really the critical piece,” Bond says. “That set the stage for us to go ahead and make the improvements to the inside physical plant and make it ready for the next 20 or 30 years.” He says it is important for the public to k now t he background of the Foundation’s piecing of the building’s ownership back together to understand why repairs were not done sooner.
Foundation owned more than 50 percent of the building, it was able to move ahead on restoring the building. The first order of business was to stabilize the exterior of the building. “ There wa s a lot of defer re d maintenance, and the mortar between the brick was wearing out to the point that water was coming through the mortar and into the building,” Bond says. When the Foundation bought the theatre, it had the bricks repointed to stabilize the exterior. In December, the Foundation bought a 129-square-foot parcel b e t we en t he men’s a nd l ad ie s’ restrooms on the second f loor. “If you want to know now bad things were, someone thought it was good
Presidium arch and stage from the balcony. 34