Scott recently visited his native Detroit, and wrote an article showcasing a number of Motor City’s emerging cultural assets. The article; “Detroit: Culture hums under the hood“, is featured in today’s Globe and Mail Travel section. Congratulations Scott – great work!
Developed for ERA’s People Per Hectare installation at Harbourfront last fall, this gigantic map compares densities across a sample of Toronto neighbourhoods. Using familiar local examples, it was developed to illustrate the very abstract concept of a quantitative density value – and to question what exactly that value might tell us about neighbourhood livability. Copies of the map have been in constant demand by visitors to both the exhibition and to our offices, where it has found a permanent home.
With the historic marquee now back in place, the Allenby has been catching a good bit of attention recently.
From Christopher Hume’s piece Tim does its bit on the Danforth, in the Toronto Star:
Cleaned up and nicely restored, the Allenby looks better than it has in years. The 1930s art deco movie house is no masterpiece, but it has character and exuberance. As is so often the case with these old cinemas, the building is all façade. With its streamlined symmetry and classic marquée cantilevered over the entrance, it is a relic from another age. Though only 75 years old, the Allenby comes from a time when movies weren’t such an industrial pursuit. It also speaks of a moment when architecture was allowed to be entertaining.
The modernists would soon do away with that, another reason why the former Roxy remains one of a tiny handful of architectural highlights on the Danforth. Most of the street is lined with two- and three-storey boxes of the sort that can be found throughout Toronto.
ERA has been working on the restoration and adaptive re-use of the Allenby (aka Roxy) Cinema since 2006. The façade was entirely restored and greatly re-built, as the cinema had originally been hastily built at the tail end of the great depression. The entire marquee sign was replaced, as well as the vitrolite glass at the ground floor window storefronts. The terrazzo floors are being refurbished at the exterior lobby, and the interior lobby has been retained and is being re-used as the new Tim Horton’s component of Esso’s Gas station to the west of the property. The ticket booth is also being reinstated.
Though Hume’s article mentions that this is just a façade – in reality the first bay of structure was retained, proving to be both a modern engineering feat and a very effective and unique method for preserving an old cinema that features an exterior lobby and ticket booth.
Katie Daubs also had a story in the Star; Wanted on ‘other’ Danforth: More foot-powered traffic, which focuses on the Allenby as a key component in the neighbourhood’s burgeoning rejuvenation.