At a public hearing yesterday the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a plan drawn up by Platt Byard Dovell White Architects (PBDW) for Maefield Development to raise the historic 1913 Palace Theater 29 feet in order to accommodate expanded facilities and new retail space underneath.
The decision isn’t sitting well with preservationists, but the exterior of the theater was replaced in the early 1990s to make way for the 45-story adjacent DoubleTree hotel, and as the Wall Street Journal reports, the actual theater space is an interior landmark and the $2 billion redevelopment project will restore the decorated interior and add 10,000 square feet of theater facilities.
Located at 1564 Broadway in Times Square, the 1,740-seat Palace Theater was the country’s biggest vaudeville venue from 1913 to about 1929. According to the LPC designation report (PDF), “If one theater in New York’s Broadway theater district were to be named the most famous, the privilege would fall virtually uncontested to the Palace, designed not as a legitimate stage theater but as a vaudeville house. Yet no other showplace has hosted a greater number of stars nor a wider variety of entertainment than this Broadway legend.” […]