Residents are invited to celebrate the Dawn Theater’s centennial on Sept. 4 at 5:00 p.m. in the City Hall conference room. For 100 years, the Dawn Theater has sat across from City Hall and was a vibrant part of the community for most of that time.
Tax Increment Finance Authority Chair Chris Sumnar said the purpose of the celebration is to make people aware of the progress being made at the Dawn.
“We want to make sure we’re celebrating these milestones,” Sumnar said. “People can see we’re beginning to bear the fruit of what’s been a lengthy, foundational building process.”
Looking out of his office window from City Hall, Hillsdale’s City Zoning Administrator Alan Beeker said he was impressed by the building’s original brickwork revealed under the former yellow facade.
“I was excited that the carved piece of stone inset that says ‘The Dawn’ was not damaged when they pulled the panels off,” Beeker said. “Aside from the brickwork that was done, that stone is one of the few things that is ornamental on the facade. I was really hoping it would still be intact and we would just need to clean it up.”
Michigan Economic Development Corporation has already approved the project’s direct contract, revised drawings, and the abatement contractor.
Beeker added that MEDC is coming to the celebration to present the official grant check for the project to Sumnar and Mayor Stockford. Sumnar, who has been in the community for more than 35 years, said he’s excited to see new opportunities for Hillsdale’s downtown through the preservation of the Dawn.
“The Dawn and Keefer, together, can be catalytic for the next phase of what’s to come in this community,” he said.