The Fox Theater,
historic view and restored auditorium
before Katrina and after restoration
The Fox Theater, Spokane, Washington
The Spokane Symphony led a public effort to save this Art Deco masterpiece from demolition and turn it into a performing arts venue and their home. The restored auditorium, lobby, and mezzanine murals create the illusion of moving through an undersea world into a dense forest canopy, rising to castles and clouds at the top level, all illuminated by a huge sunburst in the ceiling. A combination of preservation incentives helped to save and restore the theater, including a Save America's Treasures grant. The $30 million restoration also used the Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits. Reopened in 2007, this community icon has a new lease on life in Spokane's thriving downtown.
Schaeffer House, Pass Christian, Mississippi
Hurricane Katrina and its 35-foot storm surge roared through the first floor of the stately Schaeffer House, part of the Scenic Drive National Register historic district in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Wind, water, and debris shattered the front of the house, leaving the second-story porch and the roof hanging in mid-air. The Schaeffers rejected the overtures of zealous demolition crews, instead choosing to rehab their historic beachfront home. Just as their retirement savings and volunteer support were exhausted, the Schaeffers received a grant from the Historic Preservation Fund's Supplemental Hurricane Assistance. Their success story encouraged many of their neighbors to begin repairing their own historic homes, lending hope that the once magnificent Scenic Drive Historic District can be restored to its former grandeur.