Kimpton Monaco Hotel and Boyd Theatre Restoration
Website: Kimpton Hotels
Chestnut, Sansom and 20th Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Location, Boyd Theatre:
1910 Chestnut, Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Hotel, theater and restaurants
320' (97 meters)
Martinez + Johnson Architecture
ARCWheeler in association with Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group Inc.
Alexander R. Boyd's Art Deco masterpiece, The Boyd Theatre (Hoffman-Henon Co.
) opened on Christmas Day, 1928. The Boyd on 1910 Chestnut Street was once one of many Center City theaters built during the Golden Age of Movie Palaces. Sadly, most of them have been demolished or converted to commercial properties. The stately Mastbaum Theatre (1929) at 2001 Market Street was demolished in 1958. The regal Aldine Theatre (1921) at 1826 Chestnut Street is now a CVS Pharmacy. Shortly after opening, the Boyd was sold to Warner Brothers who held on to it until 1971 at which time it was sold to the Sameric Corp. who rebranded it as the Sam Eric. In 1988 it was sold again to United Artists who held it for 10 years before selling it to the Goldenberg Group. The theater officially closed in 2002 and was threatened with demolition. In June, 2002, concerned citizens organized the Committee to Save the Sameric which later became the Friends of the Boyd, Inc. In late March, 2005, Clear Channel took ownership of the Boyd, but the steep cost of resurrecting this magnificent movie palace proved to be too burdensome. On September 13, 2006, Clear Channel ceased renovations and once again the Boyd had a date with a wrecking ball in its future. In March of 2007, Clear Channel's parent company, Live Nation, was seeking to sell the theater to a developer who might demolish it. The Friends of the Boyd staged rallies outside the boarded up front of theater and sent petitions to Philadelphia City Council and the Mayor to prevent such a transaction from happening. On May 20, 2008 the National Trust for Historic Preservation list the Boyd as one of the most endangered historic places (number 11). On August 8, 2008 the Philadelphia Historical Commission voted to add the Boyd Theatre to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. This designation would protect the Boyd's exterior but did little for the amazing but dilapidated interior. Enter ARC Wheeler.
On September 9, 2008, Philadelphia developer Harold "Hal" Wheeler signed an agreement to purchase the Boyd Theatre from Live Nation in order to do a complete restoration of the historic theater to become an entertainment destination complete with a hotel tower managed by the Monaco division of Kimpton Hotels. The hotel's footprint is very contorted site atop a tight urban landscape. The hotel meets the street on three sides, a 40 foot frontage on Chestnut Street, 20 feet of 20th and about 65 feet on Sansom. The see more renderings and elevations, click here
to see Late1's photos from the November 18th Philadelphia City Planning Commission meeting.
Further reading is here
The Friends of the Boyd
Image courtesy of Martinez + Johnson Architecture
Exterior view of the Boyd on opening day 1928. Irvin R. Glazer Theater Collection at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia
Interior view of the Boyd Theatre, Photo by Rob Bender: National Trust for Historic Preservation