Monday, February 27, 2012

“Thanks For the Memories”


When I turned my program over to look at the back, that’s what I read.

83 years of memories, to be exact.

Saturday night, we attended the local high school spring musical.  This year, the kids, including several of Amy’s friends, put on an outstanding production of Music Man.  This musical has a very large cast, and requires a big stage.

But here’s the thing.  Music Man, or any other large scale production  like it, cannot be performed at the high school.  The high school does not have an auditorium. Consequently, when high school  musicals are put on, they take place at the middle school, which has the only big enough, and available stage in town.

It was no coincidence that “Music Man” was chosen for this year’s spring musical.  In all likelihood, this is the last big musical the high school will ever perform.  You see, the auditorium’s days are numbered.  Built in 1929, it’s the type of auditorium that reminds me of schools from my own youth, and the school concerts, and assemblies,  plays and musicals that I was a part of.   This particular auditorium is a soaring space designed in an understated but glorious art deco style. It’s an inspiring setting for any young actor or musician. 

But it's old.

This is where I have to get up on my soap box for a minute.  While it’s true that the middle school is aging, and needs repairs, it broke my heart when I found that the plan to build a new middle school includes demolition of the old.  Including the auditorium.

I have a soft spot for old buildings.  I like to see them preserved and cherished.  I know this takes money.   But once a treasure like this auditorium is gone, it’s gone forever.  I’ve watched this happen to other dated structures in town. And every time an old building is demolished, a piece of the history of this town is gone, leaving an incredible sense of loss.  And maybe I am being dramatic, but a bit of this town’s soul disappears too.

So thanks for the memories indeed.  It seems almost inevitable that a year from now the auditorium will gone, and there will no longer be a stage large enough to accommodate high school productions like Music Man.

It’s a monumental loss for this town.   In so many ways.


  1. I'm with you Valerie. I hate when they tear down old buildings :-( Imagine all the history in that auditorium...

  2. It's too bad they can't refurbish and renovate, maybe expand onto the existing structure. So many stories, and so much history, goes down with that wrecking ball. I'm putting up a similar blog post on Wednesday, showing a charming 100 year old beach cottage that was cleared away to make way for a new, grand structure. It'll never match the old in charm and comfort and beauty.

  3. I have to agree with you. What a loss. It seems sad to me that we can't spend money on maintaining a building all along the way, instead of replacing it in one giant chunk of money later. Seems lazy and irresponsible.

  4. I hate it when old buildings, especially beautiful ones, are destroyed to make way for these ugly modern buildings that people are so fond of. I wish they could keep the auditorium.

    They still have the auditorium at my school - the stage was actually used as a basketball court. They built a new gymnasium but kept the stage, thank goodness, and that's the stage I performed on when I in high school plays.

  5. Thanks you guys. I'll keep you posted on what happens...I agree about the history this building has witnessed, and all of the memories it represents. To me, saving it should not even be an issue. It just makes me sick at heart, and sad.

  6. I'm sorry to hear about this. My university did something similar when I was there. They tore down our quaint old pub and build a loud ugly dance bar.

  7. That is sad Kim. Great old buildings should not be treated like that:( Such a shame.