Fund-raising for the project begins in earnest on Oct. 6, when the school plans a gala event at the 1333 W. Argyle St. building, where party-goers are encouraged to dress up as Chaplin, Swanson or other Essanay actors. At that event, the Chicago-based architectural firm Johnson & Lasky will issue a 150-page historical structures report on the Essanay renovation plan, which will help college officials determine the ultimate expense for the project.The entire article is here, and is well worth reading. We would love to see this project happen.
"It will be a significant cost outlay, probably in seven figures," said Sund, who added that it would take two to three years to finish the project after fund-raising is completed.
But it's a project that has full support from city officials because it goes hand-in-hand with the City Hall-endorsed plan to create an Uptown Entertainment District, centered around the long-awaited renovation of the long-shuttered Uptown Theatre. Owner Jam Productions hopes to fully renovate the Uptown by the end of 2015, provided they can raise that $70 million to maintain that historic venue.
UU Note: Chicagoist has an article on the anniversary of the opening of Essanay Studios, with some fun photos of Charlie Chaplin and Gloria Swanson, and a couple film clips of movies shot at Essanay.
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