02/04/14 Last October Wythougan Valley Preservation Council received funding from Indiana Landmarks for feasibility studies for two important Marshall County landmarks, the Rees Theater and the old Bourbon Gym. The grant was combined with in-kind contributions from Wythougan, through Kurt West Garner, and with a cash match from the owners of the buildings.
Recently the feasibility report for the old Bourbon Gym was presented to the Triton School Board. The study for the Rees Theater has also been recently provided to the owners. In both studies the architects looked at expanded uses of the facilities, structural conditions of the buildings, and budget estimates for restoration.
The Rees Theater was constructed in 1939 by Stuart Rees, who had previously owned the Gem Theater on Garro Street in Plymouth. The Rees had every modern convenience for its time including a system of ice-cooling and a cry room for infants. The building is Marshall County’s finest example of Art Deco architecture and underwent façade and marquee restoration in 1998.
The old Bourbon gymnasium was constructed in 1928 as an addition for athletic facilities and a community building to the Bourbon consolidated school. The building included a fire-proof room for movie projection equipment, ticket rooms, and built-in seating. The building retains a significant amount of its historic character and is being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.
Wythougan is proud to help facilitate the studies between the owners and Indiana Landmarks. Indiana Landmarks is a state-wide preservation organization. Wythougan is in its 15th year of preservation for the people of Marshall County and is an affiliate of Indiana Landmarks.
Provided by Kurt Garner