Fox Theater, Washington
The Fox Theater, a prominent reinforced-concrete structure in downtown Spokane, was constructed in 1931 as a movie palace. The recent rehabilitation project ensured that the understated exterior and full-blown Art Deco lobby and auditorium were retained, while allowing the building to progress from a movie house to a performing arts center.
Most notable about the rehabilitation—where $14.8 million was spent on the building and the site work cost $656,000—was the restoration of significant features such as murals, decorative finishes and lighting. In addition, modern-day challenges—such as upgrades to acoustics, installation of major HVAC equipment, and creation of additional lobby space at the rear of the auditorium—were sensitively handled. Not only did the project receive final certification for the historic tax credit, but it also received a grant from the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures (SAT) program (note: the dollar figures above do not reflect the costs covered by the SAT grant). The SAT program, currently unfunded, awarded grants for bricks-and-mortar projects involving nationally significant properties.