Volume 77 / Number 50 - May 14 - 20, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since
1933


Villager photos by Elisabeth Robert

The architect cometh to describe Playhouse project

On Tuesday, New York University officials and architect Morris Adjmi gave The Villager a tour of the Provincetown Playhouse on MacDougal St. to show its current layout and explain what they are considering in terms of preserving and restoring the famous space. Adjmi, above, said they’re hoping to preserve as much of the theater’s historic fabric as possible in the new N.Y.U. project planned for the site, possibly by cantilevering the new development over the theater, or by adding some long columns at four points around the theater that will anchor into the ground and help support the new project above. The theater’s chairs, apparently dating from a 1940 renovation, and the walls might also be preserved. The brick entryway, below, definitely would be preserved up to the horizontal brick course work below the second-story windows; the ocular windows flanking the doorway would be reopened and circa-1940, period-appropriate wooden doors installed. The purple awning would be removed. However, the preservation efforts would not extend to a restoration of the entryway as it appeared in the 1920s, opposite page top, when Eugene O’Neill, author of “The Iceman Cometh” and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” was putting on his works there. The theater space was originally a stable, adjacent to three residential buildings; all are now enclosed behind one facade that was added in 1940. The university owns the property and plans to demolish everything except the theater for the new project. As seen in the photo at bottom of opposite page, the Provincetown Playhouse currently has minimal backstage space. See Editorial, Page 16.

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