George Gund Foundation Lobby
The Ohio Theatre was originally built as a 1,300-seat theater for live performances in 1921. In 1943, the theater reopened as part of the Loew’s Theater chain as a first-run movie theater. In 1964, a fire destroyed the Ohio Theatre lobby and portions of its auditorium. The theater reopened later that year, but the ornate plaster elements, historic murals, and decorative paint scheme were abandoned and replaced with a contemporary design in the 1980s.
EverGreene recreated the Ohio Theatre’s Italian Renaissance-style elegance. Using archival photographs, drawings and original blueprints, castings from the Lamb-designed State Theatre (adjacent to the Ohio Theatre), and an on-site investigation, which uncovered lost ornament beneath the post-historic ceiling; EverGreene’s artists, designers, and craftsmen recreated the original lobby. The project required careful recreation of plaster ornament that was polychromed and glazed. Although the ceiling would have been recognizable to a patron in the 1920s, it was designed and engineered to be cast thinner in order to accommodate modern mechanical and electrical systems, which also allowed for a quicker installation.
EverGreene also designed, painted and installed three 30’x14’ murals that depict the Temple of Bacchus, Birth of Venus and Muses of Poetry and Music. Other work included marble cleaning and restoration and designing historically-compatible inserts between the balusters of the grand stair rail to ensure it met modern safety code requirements.