In our last blog, October 2019 was noted as an intense month for the Renaissance – tons of events and productions. One event… a monumental event…will never be forgotten – the demolition of the Rainbow Mortgage building.
This once majestic building was taken down on October 30, 2019 to a crowd of Renaissance Performing Arts and Little Buckeye Children’s Museum supporters in camaraderie for the future of The Imagination District.
The Imagination District is the brainchild of Mike Miller, CEO of the Renaissance Performing Arts Association, and Fred Boll, Executive Director of Little Buckeye Children’s Museum. The collaboration of the two organizations will create the area known as The Imagination District. In September 2018, The Renaissance opened the Black Box Theatre (Theatre 166.) This venue is located directly next to the future home of Little Buckeye Children’s Museum on Park Avenue. The future is bright for this alliance – one of the many plans for Theatre 166 is to hold educational activities and performances specific to children from the museum.
The event began in Theatre 166 with speeches and a full crowd in attendance.
Jodie Perry, President of the Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development, started off the event.
Brady Groves, President of the Richland County Foundation, discussed the importance of this collaboration.
Annamarie Fernyak, Campaign Chair of the Imagination District Steering Committee, was up next.
Each person involved in the creation of The Imagination District spoke a few words. Here is Rand Smith, Board President of the Renaissance Performing Arts.
The festivities moved outside, where onlookers were greeted with a wet, windy, and cold day.
Some onlookers got the best seat in the house – watching from the second floor of Theatre 166.
One last look at Rainbow Mortgage.
No demolition is complete without an official ribbon cutting ceremony. Participants from left to right: Chelsie Taylor-Thompson (Renaissance President), Rand Smith, Annamarie Fernyak, Jason Guilliams (Little Buckeye Board Chair), Fred Boll, Kyle Miller, Mike Miller, Jodie Perry.
Mike Miller takes the first swing to knock the building down.
Fred Boll tries his luck next.
The first “cut” into the building.
It took more than one day to take the whole building down, but this was a good start.
An artist’s rendering of what the finished plaza will look like. The Renaissance Theatre is on the right and Theatre 166 is on the left.
An artist’s rendering of The Imagination District.