Project Description

Quincy, Illinois, 2006

One of the best little art towns in America, Quincy lies on the banks of the Mississippi in West Central Illinois and is known for its historic residential architecture. The City currently owns the historic Washington Theater which served as a vaudeville and movie house until its closure about twenty years ago.

The Washington Theater Redevelopment Commission, a special ad-hoc committee of the city of Quincy, retained Janis Barlow and Dulcie Gilmore in 2005 at the suggestion of theatre preservation architect Killis Almond, FAIA, to undertake the market, needs and business planning phase of a feasibility study for the historic Washington Theater (circa 1927; seating approximately 1,200).

Although Quincy is well served by a contemporary community theatre seating 500 and an historic high school auditorium seating 2,000, the team discovered that the Washington Theater could serve a previously unidentified need for a regional presenting facility, a mid-sized place of public assembly and downtown historic interpretive centre.