Developer Would Cut Historic Victoria Theater In Half

AM New York today examines the controversy surrounding Harlem’s shuttered Victoria Theater:

Local developer Steve Williams of Danforth Development Partners, LLC, wants to transform the 1917 burlesque theater into a 30-story condo/hotel, cutting up the ornate 2, 400-seat theater into two mini-theaters while preserving the facade and parts of the lobby.

Neighborhood activists argue that the Thomas Lamb-designer theater shoud be restored to its original grandeur.

But others contend that such a large performance hall doesn’t make sense, especially one right down the street from the famous Apollo:

"It’s the white elephant that no one can afford to rent, because it’s too damn big," said Curtis Archer, president of the Harlem Community Development Corp.

Mr. Williams is aiming to reopen the Victoria by 2011.