1925 CONSTRUCTION DRAWINGS
I had been collecting any photos of the Fillmore East that I could find online and studying them for clues as to how the building was designed. Many of these photos came from Amalie R. Rothschild’s book “Live At The Fillmore East”. I bought the book and in it she writes that she took close to 20,000 photos during the time that she worked at the Fillmore East. I thought that perhaps she might have some unpublished photos that would be helpful to me. I sent her an email explaining what I was up to and included some of the drawings I had created at that time. I really didn’t expect a response but was elated when I did hear back from her a few days later. She said she was intrigued by my project and would copy some of her Fillmore East friends that she keeps in touch with and might be able to help.
One of Amalie’s friends was John Chester (Fillmore East Sound Engineer). John said that he had just moved to a new house but remembered seeing floor plans that he had copied from NYC city hall in 1968 when he was packing things up. He said they were still boxed up but that when he got around to unpacking things that he would send them to me. I’ve worked in several architectural offices and have seen how plans can be mistreated so I tried to stay hopeful that 50 year old plans were still legible. When the drawing tube was delivered to my door several weeks later, I had another heart pounding moment just before opening the tube. John had sent me 3 sheets of pristine vellum prints from the original 1925 construction drawings! They included the main and balcony level floor plans as well as building sections that showed the proscenium arch and dimensioned levels of the balcony seating. I felt like I had found another copy of The Declaration of Independence! I doubt that anyone else in the world has been searching for the theater's original construction drawings more than me. To my knowledge these are the only surviving copies from the set.