According to reports on social media, demolition of the former Capitol / Park Theater on Washington Avenue in Racine began today.
A few days ago the daily Racine Journal-Times wrote that demolition was authorized for this month but has been delayed by the heavy snowfall in recent weeks.
I wrote about the effort to keep the vacant 1928 theater standing in this article in December.
Earlier this month the Friends of the Capitol Theater announced that it had raised sufficient funds to meet the most pressing needs of the at-risk theater, but the group's hard-fought efforts have not proved successful in convincing city officials to delay demolition.
According to the Journal-Times, "City leaders have repeatedly expressed concern that the building could collapse and injure someone or damage property. Were that to happen right now, prior to anyone else taking over the building, the city (and thus taxpayers) could be held liable."
Despite predictions that recent heavy snow would collapse the theater's roof, the paper reported that the building was steadfast and its roof held tight during the recent onslaught.
Earlier today, I shared this story of the Majestic Theater, also built in 1928 and also on Washington Avenue, which its owner hopes to convert into a food hall and apartments.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.