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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 19 (9)

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition
1948-49 Theatre Catalog
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 19
Page 19

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 19

When Eberson moved his organization to Hamilton, Ohio, it wasn,t long before he gained the respect of the community and recognition among the great industrialists who had many clients in that city. It was their appreciation of his functional thinking and thorough knowledge of building detail that prompted them to commission the Eberson firm to design and construct foundries, machine shops, engine works, paper mills, pattern warehouses, and safe works. It was during this period that the Eberson company developed one of the first successful overhead crane designs that is still widely used. During his last year in Hamilton, Eberson received one of his first foreign land commissions, that of designing a paper mill in Japan. This eventually led to many foreign commissions which have since necessitated from time to time the opening of foreign offices. At that time the Eberson organization included such men as Walter Hare, Freddie Jones, and the late Bill Johnson.

Ebersonis prominence among architects of that period came as a result of rendering many extra services to theatre owners such as sharing their trials and tribulations and removing from their shoulders most of the detail right up to opening night. In many instances he went without his fee and persuaded the construction companies to hold up their pressing demands until a profitable act in the theatre allowed the owner to meet his obligations. The founders of many of the big theatre chains of today were among those whom Eberson assisted. His devotion to his profession and to his clients, who were also his friends, demanded his whole-hearted support, so that, perhaps unwiser in view of" present day developments, Eberson did not demand stock shares for his extra Services.

By 1910, the expanding Eberson organization had so outgrown its Hamilton office that larger quarters were opened in Chicago, then the nerve center of show business. His achievements resulting from teamwork, concentrated effort, and serious application to details, combined with the soundness of his architecture and engineering designs, his ability to create and his knowledge of Showmanship, had already preceded him to Chicago. His abilities as a showman were brought into play when the opening of the Chicago office was timed advantageously to coincide with the inauguration of many activities in the 'State of Michigan where the automobile industry was drawing hundreds of thousands of workers from all parts of the country.

' An old friend of the Eberson organizatlon, and a personal friend of the fain11.V, W. S. Butterfield, of the big and powerful Butteriield Circuit, was among the first to commission the new office for the designing and constructing of theatres in Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Lansing and Jackson, Michigan. The Buttei-field-Ebei-son alliance was an assocuition of close friendship down through the years and Butterficlds passlng created ii deep and unfilled void in the hearts of the Eberson family. Ed Beiitty. worthy successor to Butterfield, kept the building and friendship tie alive


until his untimely death which served to create an even deeper scar on the Ebersons.

Marcus Heiman, a rising vaudeville executive, in association with Joe Finn, was among those who turned to Eberson for a theatre design in Evansville, Indiana. Karl Hoblitzelle, mentioned earlier in Alabama and Georgia, by this time had started his big Interstate Circuit which now dominates Texas under the able assistance of Bob OiDonnel, was another. During this association, Eberson created the now historic itAtmospheric Theatre", which was immediately acclaimed throughout the world. One of the first, the Majestic in Houston, Texas, was built for Hoblitzelle.

The creation of the Atmospheric style which was dramatic, colorful, historic, and nothing short of sensational as well

as less costly and more effective than the prevailing style of Baroque, set the reputation of the Eberson firm several notches ahead in the feverishly competitive period of theatre construction at that time. As a result, commissions literally piled up from Australia, England, France, and other parts of the world.

With the advent of the large, presentation theatres, trick stages with elevating orchestra pits, full dressing rooms, and playrooms for the children had to be incorporated in theatre designs. Many of these new innovations were designed by the Eberson organization.

In the Atmospheric design, Eberson was able to give vent to his dreams and used his experience to create theatres which soon became famous around the globe. These included the Capitol Thea EBERSON MET THE CHALLENGE oi the growing city of San Antonio. Texas, with the erection of the Maiestic Theatre and office building in 1924. The design is highly influenced by Mexican history.

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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 19