One issue I have been passionate about since the city purchased the building, is how to reuse the Chateau Theater. The remodeler in me appreciates the potential for reuse. The preservationist in me wants to maintain the elegance of this amazing Ellerbe-designed structure. The local in me believes we need more activities and programs for all. The advocate in me wants to use it to create jobs for our disabled friends. And the entrepreneur in me wants to use an operational structure that will not drain the city’s budget.
The current proposal for the Chateau is a grand idea, but it costs too much and will operate with a major financial deficit. There is a better way. A way we can save millions in renovation costs, and provide locals and visitors something to do at the Chateau everyday.
Imagine a Chateau that, at skyway level overlooking the Peace Plaza, has a coffee shop/lounge. Imagine a balcony-level theater with a daily schedule of 2nd run movies or documentaries. At night or on weekends, the Chateau would become a much-needed music venue, while keeping the main floor available during the day for numerous offerings (think: drop-in activities for kids, art fairs, presentations). In the Chateau’s original form, the two small areas that flank the lobby entrance were separate businesses. One could be converted to a city info booth/news stand, and the other would be a small walk-up food stand with healthy, affordable options.
The numbers work. This will create good jobs for good people. This will give back to the community. This will save us money and is sustainable.
On August 14th, vote for Rochester by voting Spencer Goetzman.