Goodbye, West 14th St.

A hundred years ago, when I first started in theater administration, one of my first really big projects was to move the Cricket Theatre from Hennepin Center for the Arts to a space on 14th and Nicollet. The theatre was in an old vaudeville house (which I think is now a church), and the offices were around the corner on 14th Street.

As the Cricket compacted and then closed, Red Eye moved into the office space, and converted it into a black box theatre. And, over the years, I've seen a lot of great theatre in that space (and some clunkers too), by Red Eye and a number of other companies.

So it was sad to me when it was announced that that whole block was being torn down for yet more new apartments.

This weekend Red Eye had a rummage sale of sorts, where you could come take what was left for free or for a donation. I really felt like I had to go over and say goodbye, but in retrospect, I kind of wish I hadn't.

I grabbed a couple of things, but really it felt like being in an architectural salvage store, where the only reason anything is there is because of death. Someone remarked that whatever was not taken would simply be demolished with the building (which is the same thing someone recently told me about my dad's place).

I'm not sure it was the right move to go and say goodbye. I think I feel worse than I did before.


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