The Miller Theatre could get $6 million in SPLOST funds, according to a proposal made this afternoon by City Administrator Fred Russell, and its owners said such a move would save the Broad Street venue, and restore it to its former glory.
The Miller would make a wonderful medium sized concert and musical theater venue. Peter Knox has alread put in much of his own money fixing the leky roof and securing the building. he has said he would donate the building to the city or a group[ willing to finish the renovations. This would be a great investment for Augusta.
Do you mean Peter Knox? Paul Knox was a North Augusta educator (who is very much missed in this day and time)
The rich get richer.
Oldstuff.. I have no idea what this comment is supposed to mean. Peter Knox bought the property at market value and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money to fix the leaky roof and stabilize the structure. He has said previously he is willing to DONATE the building free of charge as long as it will go to good use and not sit abandoned. The taxpayers will be saving the money it took to fix the roof and the initial purchase price, since Knox has already paid these costs out of his own pocket. So Rich getting Richer?? Mr. Knox has probably put close to $700,000 or more into that building of which he will never see returned to him.. but he states his main concern is not the money, just seeing that a local treasure like The Miller is preserved for future generations to enjoy. The Miller could be converted into a nice concert Hall at a fraction of the cost it would cost to build a new, generic facility.
they are not
Hardly a stellar business plan. Nostalgic yes:put it to a profitable use,very doubtful.
hillguy if the place is such a good idea why dosen't anyone snap it up? I am sure if it were a money maker Mr. Knox would be putting the finishing touches on it today. The reason people give things away is because they are getting something for it, in this case I believe the liability of ownership is escalating daily. If I am not mistaken the fixtures in the mezzanine are about to fall out. If someone walks under that thing and gets hurt by falling debris who would be responsible? I don't know about the commissioners, but I know a pig-in-a-poke when I see it. BTW at roughly $10,000.00 a seat, don't you think it would be a little expensive to fix up? And in conclusion, where would the patrons for the place park, a mole away in 2 hour zones?
I'm sure it is too moldy to be safe even after a "restoration" the Imperial is basically a polished turd do we need another one? If they look hard enough the old guy with the red jacket is probably still in there somewhere waiting to take your ticket. It's time for downtown to put up or shut up, more tax money 6 million. You could build something decent and up to code for those kind of bucks.
you people are idiots. Peter didn't buy this to get rich. And an entertainment venue hasn't made money sense the 50s. Save it for preservation's sake.
pizzato...you remember the ticket taker in the red jacket? He used to creep me out. I am sure he was probably a nice guy, but as a little kid, he scared me! But then again, so did the guys that used to run the elevators in the old Davison's and Whites' stores. As nice of a place as it is, that's a lot of money to spend on something so close to the Imperial...which does not stay full either.
WOW, this is only four years after me and Andy Cheek proposed that SPLOST be spent on it. Too bad they won't do anything about the sidewalks.
at the least, it could be a live comedy venue. Lewis Black, Jeff Dunham, Dana Carvey, Carlos Mencia, Louis CK, Dane Cook, Ricky Gervais, Blue collar comedy tour, George Lopez, Lisa Lampanelli, Katt Williams, Bill Maher, all kinds of entertainment people would be willing to pay to see.
HillGuy, You are trying to tell me that Mr. Knox has spent $700,00.00 of his own money plus the price of the property and now is willing to give it to the city? I am sure he's a good guy, but what does get in return? Free tickets to every event? Not hardly. If $6 million of SPLOST will be spent on that old building I would like to see an itemized list of the expenditures. Does Mr. Knox own a construction company?
Seeing Is Believing...Let the Miller speak for itself. Before you pass judgement, should the city spend $6M to save this historic theatre, I encourage you to take a tour of the Miller. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with contact information and I will arrange for a guided tour through the Miller Theatre, "Showplace of the South". You will be pleasantly surprised at the gem we have right here in our community.
$6,000,000 ????? Anything the County proposes to do commercially, ends up being a feather bed for someone connected. A monument that requires maintenance for the rest of ever more, is all this old building will ever be. Didn't anyone see "The Money Pit?" Do you not see where the economy is heading? I paid over $105,000 in property taxes last month and I collect much more from you in sales taxes which also goes to the County. The County should be more respectful of the effort made by working people that use their backs to make the dollars the Administrator can so casually spend. I just hope you are each still making it and spending it next year, so I will be able to collect it from you to send to the County for you. You're welcome.
The article was in The Spirit several months ago.. do a google search. And no, Mr. Knox does not own a construction company. Remember his family was also responsible for Saving Sacred Heart. If not for the money and time put in by the Knox family, Sacred Heart would have been demolished to make way for a parking lot. The argument was then that a parking lot would be a more "profitable" profitable use of the site. Can you imagine Augusta losing that beautiful building to make way for a parking lot? Is it worth $6 million to save a valuable part of Augusta's history and an architectural treasure? I say absolutely. The city of Savannah has built a multi-billion dollar tourism industry around preserving their historic structures. The Miller could be a focal point for downtown and be turned into a great entertainment venue. Considering the city was considering spending $100 million of tax money to build a new arena a fews years back... spending $6 mill to restore the Miller and get it back in use is a bargain.
Can you imagine driving down Peachtree Street in Atlanta and not seeing the FOX??? The Miller is the 2nd largest theater in the state of Georgia and deserves to be restored. It's a shame to have the theater sit there in the condition it's in. There's alot of people who could have stepped up tp the plate in an effort to save the Miller but haven't. Thank-you Mr. Knox for caring enough about saving some of our cities historic structures.
The Maxwell Performing Arts Center was built for Harry Jacobs and the ASO. Portnoy just wants a place that has his name attached. I was around when they pushed Harry to the curb and Portnoy took over.
I'll support the SPLOST, if I am sure others will be able to use the space. I don't think we need to spend the money needed if it just a house for the ASO. I need to see it in writing. Some folks word means nothing.
I could imagine The Miller hosting the Symphony and The Opera. It would also be an excellent venue for concerts and travelling theatrical productions. It's the perfect size.
Mr. Knox's grandfather restored Olde Town and restored the Sacred Heart with HIS money, money HE made. It was his $5 cup of coffee, his hobby, his love. Hobbies do not transfer very well in a will. And when the money stops, the nature of lowest common denominators take over. The Miller was built as a commercial enterprise and when the money went away the doors closed. Just because you re-open the doors does not mean the money comes back. In fact, Augusta has a pretty poor record in that area.
It would be wonderful to have the theatre restored. I remember in middle school going to the theatre to see romeo and juliet, it was a grand place, with the big red velvet drapes and the wonderful lighting. It's a shame to see it in such disrepair. We as a community should treasure such beautiful places, and make sure that they are here for future generations to enjoy.
The theater should be saved...this community has so little to be proud of why let more History fall into decay?..Wouldn't it be wonderful if folks could get excited about this instead of a new jail?......(how sad that the jail is needed above and beyond anything else...speaks volumes about a community)
Pet projects for a Commissioner or Mayor does not demonstrate their obligation to make wise decisions. They should be planning to work with much less, not finding new money pits. If it makes fiscal sense, then someone will borrow the money and do it. If it doesn't make fiscal sense, then why default to tax revenues? Wasteful spending is not just the domain of the Federal government. And I don't think that I have read that Augusta can now print money.
DuhJudge,I'd like to know what you do support in downtown Augusta.
OK, everyone....for all of you that support this endeavor, how much have you kicked in personally? Just curious. We all know how to spend others peoples money so well. And don't tell me that SPLOST is your money.....you and several thousand others.
Does it really matter....contact me to schedule a tour of the Miller Theatre and I'll show you how much money and time has been spent.
SPLOST is the penny tax added onto the 6% sales tax levied by the State of Georgia for county governments to use for "bricks & mortar" roads & bridges - ergo our new library, the judicial center, and numerous infrastructure improvements - including $ for parks & recreation (museums etc) in Richmond County. Peter Knox IV purchased The Miller and also paid for a new roof. He is giving The Miller to the Symphony who has applied for SPLOST support for it renovation, to be used by the Augusta Symphony, Opera, Players, Ballet, Movies, community groups, rock bands, a jazz series, a Broadway series, etc. The Symphony will initiate a separate 501c3 non-profit organization that will own and manage The Miller (not the City). It will cost more than $6 million to renovate The Miller. The Symphony's goal is to raise $20 million from private individuals, business, foundations -- to complete the renovation (to open for the 2012-13 season), AND to support the Theatre District in future years. The Commissioners decide/vote mid-January on the specific SPLOST projects, to be voted on by Richmond County citizens in June. Contact your Commissioners. They need to hear from their constituencies!
The Augusta Chronicle ©2015. All Rights Reserved.