The Howard Theatre
Duke Ellington at The Howard Theatre. Photo credit to thehowardtheatre.com
The restoration effort included millions to restore the original neoclassical appearance.
The theater reopened in 2012-something unthinkable in the 1980s and 1990s when the neighborhood faced an urban crisis.
The interior matches the classic look of the early 1900s with modern comforts.
Many believed that the restoration of this historic theater was an impossible task, but with private investment and $20 million of public support, the theater was saved and re-opened.
Backstory and Context
The Howard Theatre was so popular among Black residents because segregation kept them rom attending the white-only theatres throughout the city. The theatre was created even before the Apollo Theatre in New York. It held amateur nights which introduced local talents such as Marvin Gaye to the public. Unfortunately, the D.C. riots of 1968 destroyed the theatre. However, the theatre was declared a National Landmark in 1974, and later became in possession of the D.C. government after not being sustainable.
In 2006 Ellis Development Group was awarded the contract to redevelop the building. A non-profit organization called Howard Theatre Restoration was later formed and began the financing process which included seeking government grants and private donations. In 2010, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the theatre site. Finally in 2012, The Howard Theatre reopened.