Landmark Theatre – Downtown Syracuse – Building Rear


restored to its former decay

Although a perfectly accurate representation of what I saw, this image still feels a bit misleading to me. What you are seeing is not urban decay or disuse, but part of a rebuilding and revival, combined with preservation.

This is the building for the Landmark Theatre in Downtown Syracuse, which just reopened on November 18, 2011 after a major renovation and expansion that cost $16 million. Originally opened in 1928 and known as the Loew’s State Theatre, the lobby of the theater was renovated and restored in 2000. This time they expanded and improved the stage area and backstage facilities. In order to do so, they apparently had to remove some restaurants and stores that previously occupied the side of the building that sits on South Clinton Street, opposite the front entrance on Salinas Street.  But because the building is on the National Register of Historic Places, they could not alter the outside of the building. I do not know if these empty storefronts can ever be used again, or if they will remain ghost stores, the odd step-children of rebuilding and preservation.

This will change eventually, but for now, if you go to the Google Map street view of this location, you will actually see the work being done on this side of the building, with these storefronts boarded up. It seems odd to think they preserved this frontage without improving it at all, but the rules about preservation can sometimes yield perverse results.  I’m glad they are improving the theater, and maybe someday somebody will figure out a way to revive this side of the building in a way consistent with the demands of preservation, but for now this seems a bit weird.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. What a great shot here Mark and some cool info to go along with. Well captured.
    Dave DiCello recently posted..Stormy skylineMy Profile

  2. What a great shot, Mark. I truly hope that someone comes along and is able to get these storefronts up and running again, breathing some life back into this great facility.
    Toad Hollow Photography recently posted..Metchosin Pioneer MuseumMy Profile

  3. Wonderful textures and reflections in this wonderfully composed shot, Mark
    Len Saltiel recently posted..Mosaic ReflectionsMy Profile

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