This guest post and the accompanying photographs were provided by the acclaimed Minnesota photographer Valérie Jardin. For more information on Valerie’s marvelous work, visit her website and blog on our links list.
St Paul, Minnesota: The Fitzgerald Theater is celebrating its 100th birthday with a gigantic mural! Built in 1910, the theater, originally named the Sam S. Shubert Theater, is the oldest remaining theater space in the capital city of Minnesota. The opening of this new theater was widely anticipated. The Shubert Theater was considered a very sophisticated and modern architectural structure at the time. Built of concrete and steel, it housed 16 dressing rooms for performers. Its stage could be raised and lowered by two feet, it also featured a state of the art built in vacuum cleaning system and thousands of electric lights.
More recently, in the 1980s, the theater became the home of Garrison Keillorʼs “A Prairie Home Companion”. Keillor also started a campaign to rename the theater after the St Paul native and great American author F. Scott Fitzgerald.
In August 2010 the theater was finally entered in the National Registry of Historic Places. A few weeks later, a mural was started on the south side of the theater. The image painted was inspired by a photograph of F. Scott Fitzgerald taken in the nearby White Bear Yacht Club in 1921 The 50 foot-high mural, often referred to as The Face of the Fitz, is now completed. The elegant portrait of F. Scott Fitzgerald overlooks a busy street corner of downtown St Paul, just a few blocks away from the author’s birth place.