Shiny new doors preserve history at Shea’s


Buffalo, NY

Originally in WBFO NPR 9/13/2012

Shea’s Performing Arts Center officially unveiled its brand new brass doors in downtown Buffalo.

The doors are replicas of the Main Street original doors of 1926.

Shea’s President Anthony Conte said local companies assisted in the replica project.

“We believe that these doors are exactly the same as the doors that were here 86-years-ago,” said Conte during a news conference Thursday morning in front of Shea’s on Main Street.

The Pearl Street entrance doors to Shea’s are also being replaced.

“As a result of studying the original architectural plans, photographs, and news articles we came up with what we think are absolute replicas of the original doors on the theatre,” said Conte.

Shea’s worked with local companies on the project:  Alp Steel, Buffalo Plastering, South Buffalo Glazing, Dawson Doors,  Architect Kenneth C. Grajek of Tekon Design, Jamestown Bronze, Oneida Concrete, and Peter Grace of Siracuse Engineers.

WBFO & AM-970 News spoke with David Dawson of Dawson Doors in Jamestown, New York, the company that built the doors.

“We’re thrilled to be part of this project.  This is a jewel.  We do this type of project all over the world and theaters are a big part of what we do,” said Dawson. “The doors are brass doors an exact duplicate of what was on the building built in 1926.”

A $400,000 New York State Dormitory Authority grant sponsored by Senator Patrick Gallivan and former Senators William Stachowski and Dale Volker helps pay for the $600,000 project.

Major restoration continues inside the theatre.  The $2.5 million restoration is a four-year project.

The doors were completed just in time for Friday’s 31st Annual Curtain Up! in downtown Buffalo’s Theatre District.  Shea’s will host its annual Creative Black-Tie Gala Dinner on the stage.