Thursday, October 30, 2014

Look Up Look Down

September 2013 - Columbus OH
The Palace Theatre is a 2,827-seat restored movie palace located at 34 W. Broad Street.  It was designed by Thomas W. Lamb and was built in 1926 as a part of the American Insurance Union (A.I.U.) Citadel (now the LeVeque Tower) complex. Today the theater functions as a multi-use performing arts venue. It is owned and operated by CAPA (The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts).

The Palace Theatre was designed by Thomas W. Lamb in his signature "Adam" style, reminiscent of the 18th century neo-classical work of the Scottish architects James and Robert Adam. The construction of the theater was personally supervised by vaudeville mogul Edward Albee of the Keith-Albee circuit. It opened in 1926 as the Keith-Albee Palace and featured live vaudeville along with silent feature films, an orchestra and a Wurlitzer theater organ.

The dressing room tower in the backstage area was designed as a small hotel, complete with a “front desk,” where performers picked up their room keys and mail. Kitchen facilities and a children’s playroom were available. The dressing rooms are named after cities on the vaudeville touring routes. The under stage room includes an animal shower and small sanitary stable, along with a ramp built for hoofed animals to help facilitate their transport to and from the stage during the Vaudeville era.

The LeVeque Tower is a 47-story Art Deco-style building. Located at 50 West Broad Street  it was the tallest building in Columbus from 1927 until 1974 when the Rhodes State Office Tower was completed. The LeVeque Tower is 555 feet 6 inches (169.32 m) tall, which at the time of its completion made it the tallest building between New York City and Chicago and the fifth tallest building in the world. It was meant to be built exactly one half-foot taller than the Washington Monument in Washington D.C.

Originally, the building's exterior featured a large number of sculptures. However, for legal and safety reasons much of it had to be removed because the terra-cotta began to crumble and fall to the street. Lost sculptures include four 18 feet (5.5 m) eagles at the corners of the building at the 36th floor and four 20 feet (6.1 m) statues of colossus and youth on the sides of the building at the setback of the 40th floor (these were actually removed so Mr. LeVeque could have a view from his office). The spaces left by the departed sculpture serve as the bases for lights used to illuminate the tower.


  1. Quite an interesting post, and beautiful captures!

  2. The architectural features are stunning!

  3. Such a good reminder! It is amazing what you see by looking up and down -- and doing it more than once as in my case I am often so busy looking at 'something' that I miss something else equally as interesting!

  4. Amazing how cultural influences travel the world. Very interesting and great captures., Thanks for linking to the Up Down Challenge again.

  5. I am so glad they restored the theatre - I hate it when old buildings get knocked down. It is a pity that a lot of the statues were lost but at least there are still some.

  6. Great shots, Jackie. I love old theaters, but so few exist these days. I can just imagine the work that was involved in sculpting those statues into the building. I'm not sure I could have hung off the side of a building, or stand on a scaffolding to do the sculpting! Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday

  7. I really like the Art Deco style. It's really interesting how you can still see the brick and mortar aspect of the sculptures instead of them being one solid piece. I'm glad that some were salvageable.


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