Friday, May 12, 2006

New Life for the Lyric Theater?

"Park Street's derelict Lyric Theater building, a once-grand Hartford structure that's been allowed to deteriorate almost beyond repair, is poised for resurrection as a public library and regional cultural center," the Hartford Courant says in an editorial today. "It couldn't happen to a nicer building in a more deserving neighborhood."

The theater, located at the corner of Broard and Park streets, has three floors. Under an $8.5 million renovation plan developed by the Broad-Park Development Corp., the first floor would become a Hartford Public Library branch focusing on Puerto Rican and Latino history and culture, while a performing arts center, artists' studios, and spaces for live theater, dance, concerts and films would occupy the second floor. Broad-Park would move into the third floor, freeing up its current office space on Park Street for retail use.

Now that there's a plan, the new task is to raise money. "Surely the state should consider kicking in for this worthy project, which has so many potential benefits and beneficiaries," the Courant says.

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