[Photo via Flickr/universalhiphopparade]
The future of Bed-Stuy's historic Slave Theater has been bleak ever since a developer bought the site several years ago, with most expecting the site to go condo. Now, however, another theater company may move into the crumbling space. According to The Observer, Jonathan Solari, the founder and artistic director of the New Brooklyn Theatre has been in talks with developer Fulton Halsey Development Group to occupy the first few floors of the theater. The upper levels would be converted into residences.
Last year, architects said that the building is very damaged and structurally unsound, but Solari hopes that a restoration effort might be able to save it from demolition. Fulton Halsey is currently deciding what to do with the building.
"I think there has to be as much of the spirit of that building as possible," he said. "The conversation became a matter of 'what can we restore? From a structural engineering perspective, what elements from the building are able to still stand?'"
The property had previously been the subject of a dispute between Rev. Samuel Boykin—the nephew of the late owner Judge John Phillips—and Clarence and Omar Hardy, Phillips' caretakers and friends, who claim to have purchased the site. When Phillips died in 2008, Boykin inherited the property and subsequently sold it to Fulton Halsey.
· A New Theater Company Looks for a Home in Bed-Stuy's Slave Theater [NYO]
· All 1219 Fulton Street coverage [Curbed]