PRINCESS THEATRE - Raising the Curtain: OUR PRINCESS IS GETTING A NEW BONNET

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

OUR PRINCESS IS GETTING A NEW BONNET

I was there Monday morning when Davis Brothers’ Roofing made their first inspection of the work they have ahead of them on the Princess Theatre.  Rickey Davis (center below) walked the roof and gave his assessment to architect Frank Sparkman (left below).  It was the consensus opinion that the entire old covering will have to be replaced.  The roof has been leaking over the past 3 to 5 years, but amazingly enough the structural steel was not rusted.

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 postTHE PRINCESS THEATRE – A TEMPLE OF THE ARTS“, a reporter noted thatSince 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.

The new “bonnet” will take at least three weeks to complete, but it has to be done prior to any inside work.  Once the inside is in the dry, the “real work” of restoration can begin.

The Princess was not the only building in Harriman getting a new roof this week.  Workmen could be seen on both the Farnham and old Edwards buildings.  It seems a lot of people are into preserving Harriman’s Historic Buildings.

After the roof, you should be able to follow the reconstruction work on the fa├žade 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!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow this is so awsome I remember going to Princess and the day I remember that my son dropped his drink on the man setting in front of us he tuned and started to cuss out my 5 year olds son I told the man I was so sorry it truly was an accident which I would not buy him one to replace it thay was his punsmint the movir we was watching was ET right befoe goihg ib the theater I had ran into the 5 and dime where candy was cheaper have not lived in Harriman for 30 years
bur had some good and bad memories
3 cheers for the one responsible for giving the Princess her crown and glory again cant wait to make a trip just to walk down memories
lane ! thanks for the memories...
Wanda

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