State Senator Bob Duff joined Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman and representative Chris Perone at Norwalk's historic Wall Street Theater to support the State's efforts in providing a $1.5 million grant to the total $7.8 million in project renovation costs.
This month marks the 100th anniversary of the theater's original construction. After a flood left the surrounding community in urban decay, the formerly named Globe Theater has been closed for a decade. Its surrounding neighborhood has also felt the effects of economic decline.
"Having a theatre here means more than just a theatre," said Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman. "It means people want to live around the theatre, people want to go out to eat before the theatre, after the theatre and more and more businesses want to grow. Little stores will grow because people are coming downtown. This is a good investment for Norwalk, this is a good investment for the State of Connecticut."
"We're starting to see now where people want to live in central cities," said state senator Bob Duff. "They want to have places that are convenient to live in."
The Wall Street theatre company, a non-profit organization, acquired the building, and has received $5.5 million of tax credit and loans from local corporations, like Connecticut Light and Power and Connecticut Community Bank.
"We're really looking forward for it to be a place that anyone can go for culture and arts in Norwalk and in Fairfield county," said President of the Wall Street Theater Company Frank Farricker.
"We think this area is not going to be like SoNo, where it's a destination," said Duff "...but this area is going to be more where it feeds on itself, where people live here and shop here, work here and play here and everything is really here for them."
"The theatre is no good if people don't come to it," said Farricker. "We have to make sure we build it so they do."
Construction is expected to be completed in March of 2015.