Blurt: Seven Days Staff Blog

NOTE: Blurt has been retired and is no longer updated regularly. For new content, follow these links:

OFF MESSAGE: Vermont News and Politics
BITE CLUB: Food and Drink Blog

« The 802 Cleans Up at the James Beard Awards | Main | WTF UPDATE: Finally! How Burlington's Iranistan Road Got Its Name...I think? »

May 10, 2011

Springfield Theater Puts on a New Face

Springfield2 There's a new face in downtown Springfield — grinning from the façade above that town's historic movie theater.

Last week workers installed Winooski artist Leslie Fry's concrete relief, featuring an art-deco mask with a wild smile, atop the Springfield Theater, which has been closed since a fire severely damaged it about two and half years ago.

Fry was commissioned to recreate the relief last summer, working only from a pair of faded photographs of the theater in 1950, right before its façade was covered up with a faux-brick wall. 

We wrote about the $3.5 million restoration, which includes a renovation to accommodate three movie screens and the construction of nine low-rent apartments above and beside the theater, last December. At the time, Housing Vermont and the Springfield Housing Authority, which are spearheading the project, estimated work would be done by the end of April.

But the building is still very much under construction. Once workers got in there, the Springfield Housing Authority told Vermont Today, they uncovered structural problems they hadn't anticipated — the foundation needed serious work and the heating system had to be moved. Now they're saying the theater should be open for movies early this July — just in time for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II.

Fry, who is well known around Burlington for her sphinxes at Pomerleau Neighborhood Park and other public artworks, is working from scaffolding this week, creating two stylized owls in each corner of the façade by adhering material to the original 1930s cement. It's difficult work, she says, but if the sunny weather holds up, she should finish by the end of the week.


I was hired by Preservation Magazine to photograph Leslie Fry with her new facade on the Old Historic Avon Theater in Springfield, Vt. Here sculture is fabulous. Just perfect.
And she is relaxed and easy in front of the camera. See more photos of her on my facebook page and scroll down to see the portraits I took of her.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Stuck in VT (VIDEOS)

Solid State (Music)

Mistress Maeve (Sex)

All Rights Reserved © Da Capo Publishing Inc. 1995-2012 | PO Box 1164, Burlington, VT 05402-1164 | 802-864-5684