Restoration News From the Garden Theatre in Pittsburgh, PA

posted by ThrHistoricalSociety on September 29, 2015 at 12:51 pm


To generations before ours, the Garden was known as a lovingly cared-for theater that thrived as a cultural center for the neighborhood. Three new developments, finally, are pushing the Garden Theater block closer to becoming a source of community pride once again.

Restoration of the 20-foot tall Garden Theater marquee is set to begin this winter. “No sign on Pittsburgh’s Northside better conveys a neighborhood’s past, present and future than the Garden Theater,” wrote Jennifer Baron in the Western Pennsylvania History Magazine.

Wagner Electric Sign Co. was chosen by the URA to spearhead the project, which is estimated to cost $60,000. $25,000 will be granted by the Buhl Foundation. Ohio-based Wagner previously worked on the Byham and Benedum signs and has more than 20 years of experience refurbishing theater marquees. “We had to find a vendor familiar with these sorts of signs—familiar with the steelwork and neon and who is sensitive to the historical elements,” says Straussman.

Because of its iconic importance, restoring the Garden’s vertical sign is “symbolic of the restoration of the neighborhood,” says Straussman. This project is “really important for the community.”

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ABOUT THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA: Founded by Ben Hall in 1969, the Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) celebrates, documents and promotes the architectural, cultural and social relevance of America’s historic theatres. Through its preservation of the collections in the American Theatre Architecture Archive, its signature publication Marquee™ and Conclave Theatre Tour, THS increases awareness, appreciation and scholarly study of America’s theatres.

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Comments (2)

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 20, 2015 at 3:45 pm

I’ve seen photos of the inside. If it was lovingly cared for at one time, it certainly wasn’t in the last phase.

It’s great that they’re doing something productive with it.

pnelson on February 19, 2016 at 9:08 pm

Nice marquee. Any pics inside?

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