Plans for 4th Avenue Theatre Restoration Surface Online
It is the news many in Anchorage have been waiting years to hear--the 4th Avenue Theatre looks like it is going to be restored.
Peach Investments, owner of the theatre, hired Seattle-based architecture firm Hinthorne Mott to create a model of what the downtown landmark would look like after restoration.
The firm recently posted a picture of the model on its Facebook page. The company said the interior would be completely restored to its original state, and three stories of office space above the theatre would be added. The offices would have a separate entrance.
The plans are the first tangible sign since 2009 -when Peach Investments purchased the theatre- that they plan to restore the historic building. However, what Peach Investments will do with the building once it is restored remains unclear.
Many possibilities have been tossed around over the years, but were mothballed when the national recession hit in 2008. In CBS 11 News’ View From City Hall, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan said he has heard one plan is getting dusted off.
“Shortly after I took office, the owners of the property, the Fang family, had brought in the people from the Hard Rock Café,” said Sullivan. “The Hard Rock Café people had looked at the interior and they were very impressed by the wood and everything in there. They have a reputation of trying to take existing buildings and not just gutting them and creating a Hard Rock Café, but using the interiors of these historic buildings as part of the theme within their restaurants.”
But Sullivan said soon after that visit, the international chain backed off any expansion plans because of the national recession. “The rumor I have heard is they may be back and looking at that property again,” he said.
The Hinthorne Mott plans show the original elegance of the 4th Avenue Theatre will be restored. The art deco exterior, mural panels and woodwork are to be kept intact, which Mayor Sullivan said is a good sign.
“A property in the heart of downtown needs to be a functioning property,” he said.
“Whether it is this particular opportunity or whether something else comes along, we keep our fingers crossed that the private sector will come up with a good project there that is viable for a long, long time.”
Neither Peach Investments nor Hard Rock Café returned calls for comment.