The Kings Theatre renovation is moving along at the expected rate, says The New York Times, who recently got a look at some of the stunning work being done. After erecting $2 million worth of scaffolding (including scaffolding on top of scaffolding), the building now has a fresh coat of paint and rehabbed mouldings sure to bring visitors straight back to the 1920s. In short, it doesn’t look like the above photo anymore.
Gizmodo captured some of these ceiling repairs (and plenty of scaffolding) in September, but the Times goes a little further:
Workers… reviewed the composition of the antimold detergents they planned to use with chemists at Benjamin Moore & Company, to ensure there would be no adverse reactions with the primer coat.
They examined about 200 paint chips from the auditorium to determine what colors were original and how they were achieved.What looked like gold leaf turned out to be aluminum leaf that had been toned gold. Around 60 years ago, in what seems to have been an act of existential despair, coffee-ground brown paint was applied almost everywhere.
“There was no economy with ornament,” Toland Grinnell, project manager for restoration company Evergreene Architectural Arts, told the Times. “It was go-for-broke.” The paper continues:
Some flourishes, like faces and fleurs-de-lis, can be reproduced by layering coats of silicone on them to create a flexible mold. Once it solidifies, the silicone is peeled off the original and used to cast multiple plaster likenesses. In some cases, plasterers must recreate ornaments from scratch, laboring in makeshift studios tucked into the scaffolding, 65 feet above the orchestra floor.
Check out the Times’ full piece for more on the rehab, scheduled to finish in late 2014 or early 2015–it’s fascinating to hear exactly what has to be done to achieve perfection in all the theater’s tiny details.