(Re)Build it and They Will Come


I love history and art – not to mention a “feel good” story. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed writing a BizVoice® article last summer about restoration of Elkhart’s historic Lerner Theatre, one of many projects revolving around the city’s new downtown arts and entertainment district.

Renovation of the structure, built in 1924 as a vaudeville palace, was completed in June. It wasn’t transformation of the theatre alone that I found captivating. It was the “story within a story” – The Lerner’s rebirth revitalized Elkhart (helping to boost revenue and morale), one of those hit hardest during the economic downturn.

And the story continues.

Design firm Moody•Nolan and associate architect Cripe Design recently earned a Palladio Award (specifically the Sympathetic Addition Award) for their addition and façade restoration of the theater.

Jim Kienle, director of Moody•Nolan’s Historic Preservation Studio, was quoted in a 2010 BizVoice® story focusing on environmentally friendly preservation efforts involving restoration.

Looking forward to seeing what’s in store “in the next act” for The Lerner and other renovation projects.

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