At a recent press conference, the Uptown Entertainment & Development Corporation (UEDC), which acquired the historic Uptown Theater at 2240 N. Broad St. in 2002, announced that the organization has been awarded a $30,000 grant from the 1772 Foundation through the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The UEDC is in the process of renovating the venue.
Corbitt Banks, board chair of the UEDC, stated that the grant has been designated for “Phase 2” of the restoration of the Uptown, which includes restoring the marquee and replacing the traditional lighting with bed lights, as well as renovating the box office with new doors, insulation and lighting. “This project will begin in early fall, and will be the first of many projects to restore the lobby, auditorium and balcony as part of Phase 2,” Banks said.
“I am glad to be a part of the announcement of a $30,000 grant to the Uptown Entertainment and Development Corporation from the 1772 Foundation through the National Historic Trust for Historic Preservation,” said Walter Gallas, director of the Philadelphia Field Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
“The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. A partnership forged with the 1772 Foundation in 2009, enabled the creation of the Northwest African American Historic Outreach Program. The program works in a number of ways to support organizations which are the steward of places throughout the Northeast that are important in telling and preserving the African-American story. Through conferences, board training workshops, technical assistance and grant funding, this program has touched 45 organizations and the places they are working to save and sustain. In the last three, over $1 million in construction grant funding has been awarded. The program is now in its fourth year.”
“I want to again thank the 1772 Foundation for their support of the restoration of the historic Uptown Theater,” said Linda Richardson, president of the UEDC. “This contribution represents .78 percent of the funds needed for our goal of $5 million to complete the project. Our work in restoring the Uptown Theater got support through the acknowledgement of the Preservation Alliance of Philadelphia. In 2004, the Uptown Theater was put on the endangered property list. This listing began the fundraising campaign to restore the theater.
“Since then, we have begun the restoration of the terracotta tiles, replaced the windows in front of the theater and completed the stabilization phase. The current project, the renovation of the education and entertainment tower, will be completed this fall.” For additional information, call (215) 236-1878.