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Baltimore architects chosen to renovate Carroll Theater


The art deco marquee of the Carroll Theater is one step closer to lighting up again.

On Monday, Westminster Common Council selected the Baltimore architecture firm Beck, Powell & Parsons to transform the 70-year-old former movie theater into the new home of Carroll County Arts Council.

"Another step forward for a terrific project," Westminster Mayor Kenneth A. Yowan said after the council voted to add $10,000 from surplus to the $45,000 budgeted for architect's fees.

The city bought the Carroll Theater from Church of the Open Door for $310,000 last month.

The arts council will be the downtown theater's main tenant.

Once renovated, the former 500-seat theater will house classrooms, galleries, a 200-seat theater and office space for the arts group.

Beck, Powell & Parsons designs and renovates residential and commercial buildings. The company has won awards for its work on Baltimore's Lexington Market and the Ballestone Mansion in Essex.

Renovating the Carroll Theater will cost about $500,000. The earliest the project could be completed is the end of next year, said David Max, president of the arts council's executive board.

The arts council applied for a $248,000 grant from the Maryland Neighborhood Business Development Program last month.

Dorothy Tevis of Westminster donated $100,000 to the arts council for the project.

The group will try to raise the rest of the money.

"We will be seeking funds from the community, from individuals, from corporations," said Sandy Oxx, executive director of Carroll County Arts Council. "We will do it all to open the place up."

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