Project Supervisor Bill Milburn (right below) described the Princess as being “built like a tank”! The steel under the old roofing still held its bright original orange paint. Bill talked about his amazement with the 30-inch wide main girder and 17” thick walls that show how structurally sound the Princess was and is. It was all done to make the building as “fireproof” as possible in 1939.
If you remember the post “THE PRINCESS THEATRE – A TEMPLE OF THE ARTS“, a reporter noted that “Since this was after the second fire at the theater, the first one was in 1932; additional effort was put into advertising the building as “fire-proof”.
The builder even covered the roof in gypsum, hidden under 3 layers of felt and tar!
Cheaper “cello-tex” plaster could have been used in the walls and ceiling for around $350, however, the architects, and Crescent Amusement management, believed the $5500 for 3 coats of the Sabinite plaster’s acoustical and fire-proof properties was worth the extra cost.
After the 56 tons of steel was erected, workers began laying the 17” thick brick and cinder block walls, and pouring the first red “color pigment” concrete ever poured in Harriman.”
After the roof, you should be able to follow the reconstruction work on the façade of the Princess, and later the new marquee will be installed. All the while, the Princess will be getting cleaned up and dressed up inside.
If you are like me, you can hardly wait to see her all dressed out, looking like she’s supposed to…a real Princess!