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Location: Birmingham, AL
Client: Birmingham Landmarks, Inc., Birmingham, AL

In 2013, Birmingham Landmarks began a $7M campaign to “Save the Lyric”, a restoration project of the former jewel of the local theatre district. Built in 1914 for B.F. Keith’s Vaudeville circuit, the Lyric is one of the few theaters still existing that was specifically built to maximize the acoustics and close seating needed for Vaudeville shows. Major stars such as the Marx Brothers, Mae West, Will Rogers, and Milton Berle performed at the Lyric.

As part of the renovation, Bhate assisted the restoration team by assessing the theatre for hazardous materials, as well as developing the plans and specs for abatement of those items. Every surface of the interior of the theatre’s seating and lobby areas were covered with 1900’s-era plaster. All the ornate decorations were covered with lead based paint. Bhate identified hundreds of feet of asbestos insulation that was in extremely poor condition, as was much of the plaster work.

Bhate developed protocols and abatement processes for the lead paint that would not damage the ornate underlying plaster surfaces. Bhate prepared abatement proposal packages, sent them to prospective bidders, and then conducted pre-bid meeting and site walks. Bhate evaluated submitted bids, and established a subcontract with the highest-rated abatement contractor. Bhate was onsite observing all work performed and ensured compliance with plans and specs. Abatement was completed a month ahead of schedule and under budget, saving the Lyric restoration campaign $100K.

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