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Grants Further Plans For Cohoes Music Hall Restoration

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Grants Further Plans For Cohoes Music Hall Restoration

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Grants Further Plans For Cohoes Music Hall Restoration
Grants Further Plans For Cohoes Music Hall Restoration

COHOES — Two recent $500,000 state grants appear to be key pieces of a multi-room $5 million restoration project for Cohoes Music Hall. Celebrations are planned for 2024 to mark the 150th anniversary of the building's construction and the 50th anniversary of the city's return of the property half a century ago.

Representative John T. MacDonald III, a 108th service Cohoes veteran and city business owner and former Cohoes mayor, organized the latest $500,000 crowdfunding grant from state and local agencies. The award was announced at the venue on Thursday. This is in addition to $500,000 recently awarded by the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Office as part of the Heritage Zone Program.

The two grants, along with a $300,000 city commitment, will be used to restore the building's unique synthetic roof and rear flat roof immediately after the original packing room. Cohoes City Engineer Gary Nathan said the roof leaks so much during heavy rains that buckets and other containers on the roof and elsewhere have to be emptied by hand. Nathan and Theresa Burgess, the city's director of operations, said the long-delayed repairs have damaged skylights, gutters and decorative sidewalks that will be repaired during renovations.

In making the announcement Thursday, Mayor Bill Keeler praised McDonald's commitment to the music hall.

“He has been a longtime advocate for this regional treasure, and his support of our conservation efforts will help future generations enjoy and enjoy it,” Keller said. Both men are from Koshea.

The second phase of a $3 million renovation and upgrade of the music hall to transform the property into an energy-efficient and carbon-neutral building is underway or underway, along with two other historic city-owned buildings, City Hall and Cohoes. . public library; Last year, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority awarded the community a $1.3 million carbon-neutral economic development grant to transition to green energy. Ultimately, it will cost at least $500,000 to restore the music hall's decorative ceiling and replace the rest of the music hall's windows, Bourgeois said. The window replacement began several years ago in a separate $750,000 project. The project also includes installing new sound and lighting equipment in the theater and installing a vertical sign outside the building at 53 Remson Street. The site is the city's visitor center with meeting rooms and educational exhibits. And it's getting better.

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Cohoes Music Hall was destroyed by fire in 1874, and in 1874 a large building owned by two industrialists opened, London Assurance, a Victorian comedy by Dion Busicault by Irish playwright Dionysius Lardner. . Characters include Sir Harcourt Courtley, described as a "sophisticated 57-year-old fop", his eccentric son, his son's equally mischievous friend Dazz, Sir Courtley's 18-year-old daughter-in-law and the "virago-riding" Lady Gay Spanker. . . "."

The Music Hall Theater, used for nearly 30 years of performances, has been demolished since 1906, partly for safety reasons, although the lower floors housed offices and a bank for many years, Bourgeois said. Purchased by the city in 1968 and first completely renovated, it reopened in 1974 and was again produced by London Proof.

Wayne Smith, artistic director and producer of the Playhouse Stage Company, which is headquartered at the Music Hall and is under contract to manage all of the venue's operations, said he has not read "London Insurance." According to the statement, he cautiously admitted that he would "consider" it for production as part of the 2024 reopening.

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