Deal clears hurdle to demolish 1920s theater

A downtown South Bend theater dating from the 1920s could be facing its last days.

The St. Joseph County Public Library owns the boarded-up Avon Theater, and library officials want to demolish it and two other vacant buildings to clear room for more parking and a future expansion project.

The South Bend Tribune reports library attorney James Masters says it has agreed with the city's Historic Preservation Commission that the library will have the theater's terra cotta facade removed and saved before it is torn down.

The commission had discussed blocking the theater's demolition by declaring the building an historic landmark.

Commission director Catherine Hostetler tells WSBT-TV that the agreement is a reasonable compromise.

Library officials say leaks in the theater's roof have destabilized the facade.

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