To promote a viable alternative plan to reuse the Harding Theater for performance and community purposes, to be thoroughly vetted during an open public discussion.
It is too soon to tell. First, we need a responsible process to explore and critically assess alternatives that could capitalize on the stage and other theater features of the Harding.
We agree that a plan is needed for the Harding, and soon. We should not act too quickly because we may miss an opportunity that will not come again.
We don’t know until we vet the options. It is easy to prejudge. The more challenging and potentially rewarding approach is to identify and evaluate alternative feasible reuses. We don’t know the answer, and we don’t think others should jump to conclusions.
We can’t say for sure. We are committed to proceeding diligently with our coalition partners.
The owners’ investment should be respected. The Friends will work toward a superior alternative plan that will be acceptable and profitable to the owners.
We recognize that parking is a factor. Parking will be being surveyed as part of the alternative plan. We think there are nearby sources with significant parking capacity that can be tapped.
Why the Friends of 1800 support the effort to save and reuse the Harding Theater. ››Read more.
On November 13, 2009, the Planning Commission voted 7-0 to uphold the Friends’ appeal and require an Environmental Impact Report for the Harding Theater conversion project. ››Read more.
The Friends appeal letter of October 28, 2009 to the Planning Department includes Attorney Arthur D. Levy's history of the development project as well as arguments for the EIR. ››Click here to view (PDF).
On August 13, 2009, the sponsor of the Harding condominium project presented a revised plan to demolish the stage and stage fly to build 8 condo units. ››Read more.
"I sent two architects with whom I've been working ... to see the space and give me their opinion of what could be developed if the stage was lopped off.... We discovered that the loss of the stage... and the high fly above the stage, will certainly doom this building to piece by piece demolition." »»Read Ron Merk's letter to the Planning Commission.
"Congratulations on bringing some sanity to our lives. Losing so many local theatres has been painful —without them, we lose a core resource ..." »»Read letter from Paul Quinn to the Friends.