Theatre Facade

Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation
Ottumwa, IA
Completion date
June 2016

The Ottumwa Theatre has existed on Ottumwa's Main Street for well over a century. The building that exists today was built in 1941 after a fire destroyed the original structure. 

Designed in the art deco style, the primary materials included glazed terracotta, chrome accents, and steel storefront window and door frames. Curved surfaces and vertical lines accentuate the design. In the early 2000s the space was split into four smaller theaters, leaving little reference to the cavernous 1,500 seat auditorium that had originally existed in the building. After many renovations, the exterior of the building had been covered-over with a stark brick facade, burying the rich architectural heritage of the building. Facade improvements included a full terracotta restoration, a new marquee and vertical sign adapted from 1940s photos and drawings of the building, and restoration of all of the building's exterior doors and windows. 

Design Excellence — Honor Award in Historic Preservation
AIA Central States Region
Best Use of Materials and Detailing
Masonry Institute of Iowa