Building 51 | Building 51 | original c. 1930’s american ornamental cast iron interior second floor lobby nortown theater staircase baluster with intact gold enameled finish – j.e.o. pridmore, architect
9190
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original c. 1930’s american ornamental cast iron interior second floor lobby nortown theater staircase baluster with intact gold enameled finish – j.e.o. pridmore, architect

51-16510-13

Category

Chicago Theatres

About This Item

completely intact c. 1931 american ornamental cast iron stair railing baluster salvaged from the second floor lobby of the non-extant nortown theater demolished in 2007. the pierced metal baluster panel features an array of geometric shaped accentuated with minimal scroll ornament. the exact metal fabricator is not known. the original gold leaf enameled finish remains amazingly intact. 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.