About This Item
two matching original and largely intact american depression era nortown theater interior lobby stair landing pilaster urn-shaped finials likely fabricated by the decorators’ supply co., chicago, il. the oversized cast plaster ball-top finials feature deeply grooved egg & dart borders with leafage. the older metallic gold and silver paint finish remains mostly intact. each finial contains is reinforced with horse hair used as a binding agent for increased strength. the atmospheric nortown theater was designed and built in 1931 by architect j.e.o. pridmore and the paschen brothers as general contractors. containing over 2000 seats, the auditorium was modeled after the mediterranean region of europe, with an italian courtyard overlooking the sea. the walls gave off an illusion of a seascape and garden scene containing the exteriors of villas with tile rooftops. the audience was seated in full view of the ocean, with lighthouse effect and ships passing in the offing. the nortown was considered the first theater given a pronounced marine treatment. the auditorium ceiling was designed to emulate an “april constellation,” with astronomy professor j.c. penn of the armour institute, commissioned to arrange the stars in their proper places to insure an authentic layout. located in chicago, the theater was torn down in 2007. urban remains salvaged the interior and exterior ornament for nearly half a year. measure 10 x 23 x 8 inches.