We are excited for The Masquers Playhouse to have reached a major milestone in its journey to reopening! Today, an 880 pound steel support beam was installed that will contribute to the repairs to the historic theater, allowing it to re-open for performances (when permitted by modifications to state and county stay-at-home orders). Our firm is providing design and historic consultation for these critical repairs.
Interactive Resources project manager Charlie Duncan was on site to observe while Overaa Construction coordinated the installation. Our design includes reinforcing the damaged structure, ADA accessibility upgrades to bring the front entry, path of travel, seating, and restrooms into compliance. The theater closed in March 2016 following the discovery of major damage to the playhouse’s primary interior supporting structure. The original structure was built circa 1903.
Our expertise in both structural and historical projects, as well as our close community ties to the Masquers Playhouse, makes our partnership a natural and gratifying fit. Much of our firm’s work was donated on a pro bono basis.
Interactive Resources has a long track-record of preservation projects in the Bay Area broadly and in Richmond in particular, including the Hotel Mac, The Bank of Richmond, Mechanics Bank Trainmasters Building, East Brothers Lighthouse, and many more. Preservation projects are often incredibly complex and challenging (which is why we love them!), as creative design solutions must also ensure historic integrity and landmark status. Here a few highlights from our work leading up to today:
- Last year, Interactive Resources computer modeled the path of the longest beam into the theater to make sure the delivery would work, ensuring that the fix was physically possible. Our modelling was confirmed by Overaa’s site superintendent, who built a 30 foot long wooden model to prove that the largest piece of steel could be threaded in through the front door and placed for mounting
- The steel beam over the proscenium (the part of a theater stage in front of the curtain, perpendicular to the broken wood beams) is 880 pounds.
- The longest “C” channels that sister either side of the sagging main wood beams, allowing the old steel post to be removed, are 1050 pounds each.
- The shorter channels from the proscenium to the back wall where the broken wood beam was discovered are around 650 pounds each.
- Staging, shoring and scaffolding has been built to hoist the steel into position.
- Overaa custom built a special cart with an integral heavy duty roller to slide the beams onto the theater, and locate them on the scaffolding for mounting on the damaged wood beams.