Norfolk’s Wells Theatre, designed by the New York firm of E.C. Horn & Sons, and painstakingly renovated by Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company, has been selected to receive the Society’s Test of Time award. The award recognizes a structure that is no less than 25 years old; while building use may change over time, the overall design must be cherished as a significant contribution to the community and the built environment. The award will be presented at the Visions for Architecture gala on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, at the Jefferson Hotel.
As the building celebrates its 100th anniversary, the 25-year-old faithful restoration of the theatre continues to sparkle like a jewel box. The work not only recaptured the original splendor of the 1913 Beaux Arts structure, but the adaptive use and ingenious incorporation of an adjacent structure to serve as support services for the theatre Company, allowed for greater public appreciation of important restored areas and essential facilities for a contemporary theater company. Today, the theatre continues to delight both patrons and performers and remains an essential catalyst for Norfolk’s “Downtown Turnaround.” In presenting this honor, the Society recognizes not only the timelessness of the original design but, in particular, the careful restoration of the theatre and sensitive addition and adaptation of the Monroe Building.