Thursday, October 18, 2007

Queen Street Renaissance

Here's something to celebrate!

Today a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to officially unveil the rehabilitated Lincoln Theater (formerly the Sykes Auto Parts Warehouse) at the corner of Queen and N. Henry Streets.

The historic Art Moderne-style property was redeveloped as mixed office and retail space by owner Dr. Robert Bunn (pictured here with Mayor William D. Euille and Vice Mayor Del Pepper) of Crispin Enterprises. Design services were provided by architect John Cole of Cole & Denny and the building is being leased through Scott Elkins of Weichert Realty.

There's still a little work left to be done, including adding a brushed aluminum wrapper to the corner marquee. But the first floor now consists of three retail spaces, each with their own entry, while the upper story (the projection room for the former theater) will be available as one or two professional office suites.

The corner retail spot on the first floor has been leased by Asegedech Kelecha, who is planning to open an upscale grocery store featuring fine coffees and smoothies.

The Lincoln Theatre operated from the 1930s through the early 1960s. It was designed by the famous theatre architect John J. Zink, who was extremely active in theatre building during the golden age of theatre building in the 1930s and 1940s. He was responsible for building over 200 theatres including the Uptown on Connecticut Avenue, The Senator in Baltimore, The Takoma in Northwest D.C and the Flower in Silver Spring.

The Growler (who has written about this project before) wants to extend a warm welcome and hearty thanks to Dr. Bunn and Mr. Cole for their sensitive adaptive reuse of a Parker-Gray landmark. With the recent Laundry condo project down the block, things are really starting to look up along Queen Street.

The only question is why the City is still dragging its feet on the nomination of the Parker-Gray District to the state and national historic registries, which would give developers like Dr. Bunn the opportunity to pursue tax credits that further enhance the Queen Street corridor and provide incentives for more rehabilitation projects in our neighborhood?