Face the former Waltham Music Hall, stare up at the facade and you can almost hear the plinking of a piano, the tapping of shoes and the rustling of costumes. The roaring twenties brought the raucous acts of vaudeville right here in Waltham on Elm Street long, long ago.
Built in 1879, the grand hall is on the National Register of Historic Places in New England. Literary greats like Mark Twain, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Henry Ward Beecher all lectured here. The Boston Symphony and the New York Philharmonic filled the 1,000 seat theatre with booming concert music. A great dance floor welcomed revelers from surrounding towns.
Jim McElroy had been an admirer for 45 years, so finally he bought the dilapidated building. Together with some skilled architects and additional funds from the Historic Preservation Society, he returned the Waltham Music Hall to her original glory.
Part of the restoration involved installing new stained glass windows, replacing over 100 antique light bulbs in the marquee and adding “Music Hall” in black lettering across the façade. Ten one-bedroom apartments and four retail stores including Jim McElroy’s Formalwear LTD now give locals a desired destination.
Just Give Us A Sign
Metro Sign & Awning began working with Jim several years earlier as he was submitting plans to the city council. They liked the idea of having an old-fashioned look and staying consistent with the historical features of the building. They were also looking for something upscale in appearance but within budget.
We presented designs for new awnings, metal pan signs, perpendicular hanging blade signs and dimensional lettering that would appeal to the historical group providing funding but also add contemporary contrast.
Once the major restoration was complete and the building had been brought up to code, Metro worked in conjunction with Mr. McElroy and his team to develop the outside signage program. The result is an impressive centerpiece for the city of Waltham, MA.
Jim McElroy told the local newspaper, “It’s great to see there is a model for preserving and the model does include a willing building owner, a willing city, a willing community and I think we have that all here in this project. And it’s good as a citizen seeing something like this continue instead of just being torn down.”
If you have a historical preservation project, or just want to give an older building new life, give us a call. We have the creative and technical talent to move your project from inspiration to installation.