Saturday, March 6, 2021

Happy Ending for a Historic Building

In April 2014, Gossips reported on the sad condition of 723 Warren Street, constructed in 1921 to be the Park Theater. The building had just been declared "Dangerous and Unsafe" by code enforcement officer Craig Haigh. 

At the time, Haigh told Gossips that half the foundation had caved in, the whole building was leaning, and it was being propped up with hydraulic supports. 

In 2017, the building got a new lease on life when it was purchased by Shanan Magee, who undertook the task of stabilizing the building and restoring it to its original appearance. 

The task of restoring the building to its original appearance was made more difficult by the failure of diligent and extensive searching to uncover any historic photographs of the building. For the upper floors, the building itself provided clues to what had been. But for the ground floor, there was nothing, 
When the theater opened in May 1921, an article in the Columbia Republican gave an intensive description of the interior of the building, but of the exterior there was only this: "Over the street there will be a large glass marquis." 

In the end, Magee decided to use the Star Theater at 510 Warren Street, which was contemporary to the Park Theater and documented in a post card image, as the inspiration for the design he proposed for the ground floor. The Historic Preservation Commission
granted a certificate of appropriateness to his proposal for the ground floor in August 2020.

Yesterday, the construction wall came down in front of 723 Warren Street to reveal the completed restoration.

What a wonderful gift to the city this is. And what a way for the building to celebrate its centennial! Thank you, Shanan Magee.


  1. Thank you Carole for your coverage of this project from the beginning to now. I'm proud of my cousin Shanan to undertake such a massive renovation of the historic building that once was the Park Theater. The end result is a beautiful example of the architecture of our historic city and brings back the memory of one of the many movie theatres that Hudson once possessed.

  2. Perhaps the Galvan organization should hire Mr. Magee — he knows how to start and finish a project, skills seemingly absent at Galvan.

  3. What an absolutely gorgeous building. It's so great when we see thoughtful restoration in Hudson. A huge thanks to Shanan Magee and a hearty congratulations to this addition to

  4. Great to see this restoration unfold. Congrats to Shanan Magee and all who worked on it. Not an easy project but looks wonderful.

  5. congratulations on this labor of love

  6. Beautiful work. What type of business will be moving in there? Will it be a theater again or something else?

  7. Kids I worked a wee bit for Sir Magee on the interior demolition of rotted walls, rusted tin, dangerous chimneys, etc.
    My words can not describe what the interior consisted of but I can state that my first impression was this young man needed his head examined for only a crazed soul could think that 729 Warren, The Park Theater, was salvageable.
    But Sir Magee proved me wrong. He stayed the course and the end results speak of his courage, fortitude and an inner strength that is hard to find today.
    So Mayor Kamal I ask that meet with Sir Magee and shake his hand, give him a pat on the back and thank him for being a Knight in Shining Armor as he has saved an old dying and decade skeleton of a building and now has unveiled a gem that stands proud at our East End of the Friendly City.