Statesboro Architect Kevin Palmer of Palmer Architects has been retained by the Friends of Tybee Theater to complete the design and restoration of the Tybee Post Theater on Tybee Island.
The theater was originally constructed in 1931 by the military as a movie house for the soldiers of Fort Screven. Palmer will work with theater consultants Graham, Swift & Co. of Atlanta on the project.
The theater received an unexpected donation of slightly more than $100,000 from a donor with ties to Tybee who asked to remain anonymous. It's the largest single donation ever received by the Friends of Tybee Theater, the non-profit organization formed more than a decade ago to restore and reopen the theater.
"It's from an individual who has strong connections to Tybee and has a deep appreciation for what a performing arts and cultural center can do for our island," said Jim Kluttz, president of the FOTT board of directors.
At their June monthly board meeting, the Theater board tapped Palmer Architects to complete the design and restoration. Palmer has worked extensively with the Georgia Board of Regents, designing new college classroom buildings and dormitories, but also has been deeply involved in adaptive redesign projects, such as the conversion of two historic buildings on the Georgia Southern University's Sweetheart Circle into new schools of Psychology and Communications Arts.
Palmer's family has owned a condominium across the street from the Theater for years. This project is near to his heart.
"Tybee is simply part of who I am; and getting the opportunity to have a positive impact on the community, while helping to preserve the island's heritage, is something we're very excited about," he says. "When my children have children of their own, they can tell them all about the movies, music and shows they saw at the Tybee Post Theater as kids; and that their grandpa helped renovate it."