Huntington, Indiana ~ While this information doesn't affect residents of Fort Wayne directly, it does provide an insight into private industry and entrepreneurial spirits' ability to affect change in the community. Now instead of City Councils or an over bellowing Administration's agenda driving the economic development and revitalization these two gentlemen have taken a very personal investment in their future and the future of their City. In this case, Joel Froomkin and Rich Najuch, whom are partners in life and love as well as career; earlier this summer purchased the once glorious Huntington Theater, and after securing their living quarters within the old storage supply areas, have begun the daunting task of renovating this 10,000 square feet venue .
Originally built in 1904 as a vaudeville stage, The Huntington, has stayed vacant for decades. Joel and Rich are renovating The Huntington to its new service as the home of the Jefferson Stage Company when it opens in late 2008 to early 2009 to the entertainment of the surrounding communities. As part of the process of renovation they applied for a 25,000 Do-It-Yourself contest with the Home Depot. Their contest entry video which is enclosed below used the tune of the William Tell Orchestra to set the mood as they tour the viewer through both their living quarters which are adjacent to the historic theater which as evidenced in the video is in need of serious repair.
F6 received the video feed information from a historic Fort Wayne home and life icon who formerly contributed via The News Sentinel. Nancy Nall-Derringer adds in jest with her post, "What did old buildings do before gay men were invented? Wait for the inevitable blow from the wrecking ball, I guess.", all while expressing her desire of victory for Joel and Rich and commending the contest entry video for the general public to become informed.
Now there has been as of yet no announcement towards who succeeded in receiving the grant from the Home Depot DIY contest. However that doesn't mean that we as a concerned public can't stand up and lend assistance and cash this holiday season or into next year. They have offered their own hearts in not just preventing this antique building from being demolished but investing their energy and opening up their home to the enrichment in the arts and other educational items for the citizens of the surrounding communities. That deserves support!
To find out more about The Huntington Theater, its owners Joel Froomkin and Rich Najuch, and future plans please watch the enclosed video and visit their blog and website and sign up for information updates.
In true F6 style, in the case that you couldn't understand the lyrics, they are posted below:
The Home Depoverture
Lyrics by Joel Froomkin, Vocals by Rich Najuch
You see, our entry, Though it might be thought unusual we double checked the contest rules In black and white It says it's all right It's a theatre true but we live in it too and says down below it's for "in or around your home".
The housing above had us quite depressed But you see we've constructed a nifty nest A new bathroom and kitchen and place to rest But now comes our major test.
The sketch of the lobby is now complete And the first step of all it to etch concrete
With a product from Behr and a stain on top For an art deco look that pops
The windows and doors will hardly close Some Armstrong products will fix those
These emergency signs are a deco treat It's sad they're obsolete
This staircase would get a major zing With new traffic master carpeting
We'll strip down the walls and skim coat too Think what Glidden paint could do
We need electric wire - it's made by Romex
And inefficient plumbing - replace it with pex
Honestly this border stinks But with granite tile and Kohler sinks
The toilets for ladies and gents could be A place people love to pee
The theatre walls are coming down We need new dry wall all around
And while we are at it we could use About a million sheet rock screws
The dressing rooms were gutted back in forty-four
With counter tops and mirrors we'll make them restored
Our marquee won't illuminate Some Phillips light bulbs would be great
The rusty sign isn't up to scratch We'll need to use Bondo patch
We have to install a new stage floor Out of plywood, joists, and two by fours
And so actors are bright when the time is ripe Hang lights from an iron pipe
It may be weird yes we confess, but it's our home sweet home nonetheless
We work and sleep and build our dreams all here at this address
Our chances to win we hope are high We're the ultimate case of DIY
The scale of our project can't be beat It's ten thousand square feet
Bit by bit we have learned what we need to know And we hope you will see our first big show When you do it yourself there's one place to go
Get advice from the Home Depot