December 6, 2016

City Council names Guild Theatre a landmark

Webster Groves City Council named The Guild Theatre of Webster Groves a city-designated historical landmark after a public hearing on Oct. 15.
Webster Groves Director of Planning and Development Mara Perry said that a series of criteria determined by the Webster Groves Historic Preservation Commission must be met to designate a historic landmark.
“One item of thirteen is required to designate the historic area. In this case, five of those criteria have been met,” Perry said.
Perry gave a PowerPoint presentation regarding the structure’s historic ties to Webster Groves.
“The building was built in 1909 as a second story music house,” Perry said. “The Webster Groves Theatre Guild began producing community plays in 1927 and purchased the house in 1951.”
The theatre has produced several local plays including “The Magic Tower” by playwright Tennessee Williams in 1936.  Perry believes Williams’ presence is one of the most important aspects to the theatre’s history and preservation.
The building continues to produce five shows each season, with one every two months. The theatre’s long presence has left the building in need of restoration.
“There appears to be asbestos running on top of the original shingles, that could be restored,” Perry said.
The theatre also hopes to receive a plaque to commemorate the historic landmark.
The Guild Theatre is currently producing the thriller “Veronica’s Room” by Ira Levin. Shows will run from Nov. 8 – 10 and Nov. 14 – 17.

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