In June, we detailed a proposal from Universal Companies to tear the rear off the historic Royal Theater for the purpose of building market rate houses fronting Kater St. That plan also involved preserving the facade and using the remains of the building for “community space.” In looking at the proposal, we determined that it was financially impractical, bureaucratically impossible, and a tremendous waste of what may be the most important building in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood.
The term “demolition by neglect” is bandied around, but it really seems to be the case here. Walking by the theater today, we saw the eastern wall buckling, with severe damage to the roof and wall itself. A small hole had also appeared in the western wall. And while Irene may be the culprit for the newest damage, the blame for this situation lies squarely at the feet of Universal Companies for allowing the building to decay to this degree. Unless of course, that was the plan all along.
The eastern side of the building
A closer look. The roof appears to have shifted and the integrity of the wall seems compromised.
Another section of the east side. Ready to collapse?
Bricks all over the ground. Photo taken through a hole in the fence.
The west side isn't looking great either
What say you, Universal? Know any good masonry guys?