Lafayette Theater doors focus of recent historic preservation meeting

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LAFAYETTE, Ind.— Changes to the front entrance doors of the Lafayette Theater were among the decisions the Historic Preservation Commission made at a recent meeting. 

After serving their purpose since the theater was built in 1938, the main entryway doors to the Lafayette Theater have been patched up with different building materials over the years. However, the Historic Preservation Committee decided a more consistent overhaul was due for the doors.

“The front doors are in bad shape,” board member Kurt Wahl said. “So this job is to replace the front doors. The eight existing doors now, each one 2 foot (tall and) 6 foot wide, is not going to cut it as far as handicap accessible entrance.”

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The new four main entry doors will be painted to match the designs of the current doors. There will also be two, 36-inch wide doors for handicap accessibility. A glass sidelight will also be placed for security reasons, to allow visitors to see out the doors in the dark. 

“It’s safe to say a couple of the doors have to be replaced,” John Burns, president of the Historic Preservation Committee, said. “for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) purposes. There are two doors that open (inwards) together, and I think ADA code requires a 36-inch door with one swivel point. So, this is (the Lafayette Theater) kind of meeting them half way.”

The committee also addressed changes to a door at the Underwood Insurance building on Ferry Street. The door’s location, as well as that of a window, would preserve the historic significance of the building, located at 310 Ferry St., and address ease of access. The locations of the door and window would swapped.

“I think (the renovations) work better for the tenants,” Burns said.  “It makes better sense for how they want to use the space inside. And it takes (the building) back to what it originally was. So it’s kind of a win-win.”

To learn more about the Historic Preservation Committee and its future meetings, visit its website for more info.

Margaret Troup is a reporter for the Journal & Courier. Email her at mtroup@jconline.com and follow her on Twitter @MargaretTroup2

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