We’re looking forward to a power outage in Near West Theatre’s business office this Sunday. It’s one more sign that our new theater will soon be under construction.
The electrical supply to the Gordon Square Arcade building will be switched over that day from an old pole-mounted system to underground cables and brand-new, ground-mounted transformers that now sit behind the building. Then, after a few more days’ work by Cleveland Public Power crews, the old poles and overhead lines will finally be gone from the edge of our site, across West 67th Street from the Arcade building, clearing the way for construction preparation. The first signs of actual work on our site by Panzica Construction will be the appearance of a superintendent’s trailer. Fencing will start to surround the perimeter around Oct. 28. After a few more days of preparatory work, excavation will begin — the actual start of a construction process that will take 12 months, and possibly less.
We’re grateful to the office of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and to Cleveland Public Power for funding the relocation of this power system. It’s an important economic and aesthetic contribution to this evolving neighborhood, and not just because it makes Near West Theatre’s future home possible. It removes a worrisome eyesore and updates the electrical infrastructure of the Gordon Square Arts District’s central building, home to many longtime residents, new businesses, movies at the Capitol Theatre and offices like ours. Going dark feels really good right now. — Hans Holznagel