The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's future move to downtown Baltimore got a sizable financial boost from the Abell Foundation, which gave the organization $250,000.
The money is for the renovation of the classic Mercantile Trust and Deposit Company building, which will become the company's new home, housing a 250-seat Globe Theatre-like performance space, administrative offices and educational facilities.
Chesapeake Shakespeare has been based for a decade in Ellicott City, where it is known especially for its outdoor productions amid the ruins of the Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park.
In a press statement, Abell Foundation president Robert C. Embry Jr. called the theater company's choice of the old bank building "inspired" and predicted that the relocation "will significantly contribute to the resurgence of small businesses and vitality of the emerging residences in [the] downtown area of Calvert Street."
The foundation's grant pushes the theater company's fund-raising campaign past the halfway mark; the total cost of the renovation project is currently put at $6 million.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun