Archive for the ‘Historical’ Category

City’s Effort to Bring New Life to the Robinson Grand Theater Includes New Website

By Clarksburg Connect Staff, August 11, 2016

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Photo courtesy of Joe McNemar, D-Max Photography and the City of Clarksburg

 

Unlike any other city in West Virginia, the city of Clarksburg is putting it’s money where it’s mouth is when it comes to promoting the arts and using that investment as a way to bring new life into the city’s downtown.

Led by the mayor and the city council, Clarksburg has undertaken the purchase and renovation of the former Robinson Grand Theater located on West Pike Street in downtown.  This beautiful early 20th century structure is the crown jewel of the revitalization of Clarksburg’s downtown business district.  And the city council, leading by example, is banking on private investment to enhance the more than $15 million the city will make into the Robinson Grand – now referred to as The Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center.

The renovation of the building is a joint venture between the city of Clarksburg and the Cultural Foundation of Harrison County.  On Thursday, a new website was announced for the venture.  CLICK HERE to visit the new website.

The website includes a history of the Robinson Grand which is printed below.

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City Officials, Citizens Costly Discuss Robinson Grand Renovations

By Jim Davis, Staff Writer, The Exponent Telegram, November 24, 2015

 

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Staff Photo by Jim Davis

 

CLARKSBURG — A planned restoration of the former Robinson Grand Theater would cost taxpayers about $365,400 a year, citizens learned Tuesday evening.  The city of Clarksburg is applying for a $7.5 million loan with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, officials with the city and federal agency said during a public hearing at Clarksburg City Hall.  If approved, the loan is to be repaid over 35 years at 3.25 percent interest, the officials said.  “The application for funding was submitted to the USDA,” City Manager Martin Howe told a standing-room-only crowd.  The hearing was held as part of the loan application process with the Department of Agriculture, Howe said.  The Clarksburg Municipal Building Commission is applying for the loan because Clarksburg City Council can’t assume long-term debt.  But the building commission doesn’t have any money, meaning the city has to back all loans.  “The building commission will have to consider the loan once the USDA approves it, as well as the city council to appropriate the funds to pay the debt service for the building,” Howe said.

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Public Hearing Set Tuesday on Robinson Grand Project

By Jim Davis, Staff Writer, Exponent Telegram, November 23, 2015

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Staff photo by Jim Davis, The Exponent Telegram

 

CLARKSBURG — Clarksburg officials will have a public hearing Tuesday on the planned restoration of the Robinson Grand Theater.  The 5:30 p.m. public hearing will give citizens an opportunity to learn more about the city’s plans to put the downtown landmark back into use.  “This will afford another opportunity in which an overview of the project will be provided,” City Manager Martin Howe said. “We’ve had multiple conversations in the past, most recently at a work session.“There will be future discussions as the project progresses,” Howe added.  The hearing — which will be on the second floor of the Clarksburg Municipal Building — is part of the city’s loan-application process with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Expanded Basement in Robinson Grand doable, officials say

By Jim Davis, Staff Writer, The Exponent Telegram, August 29, 2015

Staff Photo by Jim Davis

Staff Photo by Jim Davis

CLARKSBURG — A geotechnical report supports the construction of dressing rooms in the basement of the former Robinson Grand Theater, city and project officials said Friday.  While recent core drillings found the water table to be high, engineers will design a gravity-fed drainage system to divert water from the proposed basement, said James Swiger, president of WYK Associates.

The soil, meanwhile, is sandy, so the design team will come up with the appropriate foundation, Swiger said.  “We’ve got the information we need to design the new dressing rooms for the basement,” Swiger said.

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Core Drillings Underway Inside Robinson Grand

By Jim Davis, Staff Writer, The Exponent Telegram, July 15, 2015

CLARKSBURG- Geotechnical engineers began exploring the makeup of the soil beneath the auditorium of the former Robinson Grand Theatre.

CLARKSBURG — Geotechnical engineers began exploring the makeup of the soil beneath the auditorium of the former Robinson Grand Theater Monday. Engineers with Larson Design Group of Morgantown and core drillers with Test Boring Services of Washington, Pennsylvania, are expected to complete the interior core borings Tuesday.

“The purpose of the borings is to see if we could potentially put a basement under the theater,” said Orin Kincade, project manager for WYK Associates. A basement would allow for the expansion of dressing rooms currently beneath the stage and accommodate an orchestral pit and restrooms for people with disabilities, Kincade said.

Workers are drilling at six locations inside the West Pike Street landmark. Plans for a basement look promising, based on the first boring, said L. Jane Hicks, with Larson Design Group. A 10-foot dig would be necessary for a basement, and drillers went 15 feet before hitting weathered, or soft, rock, Hicks said. “Based on the first boring, it looks good for what they want to do,” she said. “The material we sampled would be easy for them to excavate.” But Hicks stressed there were five more core drillings to do.

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Historic Restoration Underway – Contract Signed

City Manager Martin Howe and WYK Associates, Inc.’s President and Principal-in-Charge James Swiger sign the contract for the restoration of the former Robinson Grand Theatre under the watchful eye of Mayor Catherine Goings.

City Manager Martin Howe and WYK Associates, Inc.’s President and Principal-in-Charge James Swiger sign the contract for the restoration of the former Robinson Grand Theatre under the watchful eye of Mayor C. Goings.

A memorable day at Clarksburg City Hall, as City Manager Martin Howe and WYK Associates, Inc.’s President and Principal-in-Charge James Swiger sign the contract for the restoration of the former Robinson Grand Theatre under the watchful eye of Mayor Catherine Goings. The restoration project will be a keystone to the urban renewal of Clarksburg’s downtown district.

Over the course of approximately the next 16 months, the local architectural planning firm will lead a team of consultants to update the building with state-of-the-art technology, while keeping the historic integrity intact. Together, they will distill the vision of the future center for arts and entertainment in the region into an visual experience, a tangible model and finally into a building plan that – once executed – will convert the century-old landmark into the cultural heart of Harrison County and the entire region. (more…)

Robinson Grand renovation design moving right along

These seats at the former Robinson Grand Theater could be filled again one day, under plans by the city to restore the theater as a regional cultural center.

These seats at the former Robinson Grand Theater could be filled again one day, under plans by the city to restore the theater as a regional cultural center.

Clarksburg — A local architect designing renovations to the former Robinson Grand Theater is about halfway through the process, Clarksburg City Manager Martin Howe said Wednesday. WYK Associates Inc. has gone over preliminary plans with the city administration and is preparing cost estimates to restore the Clarksburg landmark, Howe said.

“They’re meeting the goals to make it a multiuse, multifunctional facility,” Howe said of the architect’s plans to date. “It’s very exciting to see the planning becoming conceptual reality. “In the very near future, we can present the plan to City Council,” the city manager added. The cost estimates are critical because the city plans to seek financing through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Howe said. (more…)

Clarksburg Landmark To Be GRAND Again?

Article by Leigh C. Merrifield, Shinnston News & Harrison County Journal; published August 7th, 2014

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Once a grand theater in Clarksburg, many may remember watching movies here ‘back in the old days’ and some of today’s young adults may recall performing here as children.Now excitement is generating to make the Robinson Grand “grand” once again, to modernize it and make it multifunctional while maintaining its historical elements.

The City of Clarksburg has many sites in its downtown area that are historic landmarks, and plans to bring one in particular back to life are stimulating lots of positive feedback! According to Clarksburg Mayor Cathy Goings, it has been one of the goals of the current Council to purchase the former Robinson Grand Theater (also later known as the Rose Garden Theater) located on West Pike Street. That sale was finalized on May 29th, and since then Clarksburg City Council has acted even further by awarding the architectural package to WYK Associates of Clarksburg. (more…)

Grand Experiences!

Historical picture of the Robinson Grand Theater

Historical picture of the Robinson Grand Theater

By Buddy Simmons | June 30, 2014

Lately, there has been a lot of interest here in Clarksburg generated by the planned renovation of the Robinson Grand Theater. And for good reason, if those involved and invested in the project play their cards rights, this could be a boon for the city.

I’m not completely familiar with the plans for the theater, but I’m sure it could be a draw. I for one relish the idea of seeing those marquee lights flashing and I’d like to see the line formed down the sidewalk, similar to the ones that formed when the theater was still in its hey-day, when you could go see the latest block-buster on the bigger-than-life screen. (more…)