Save Our Iconic IOKA Marquee!

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Save Our Iconic IOKA Marquee!

This petition made change with 2,661 supporters!

Laurie A. Couture started this petition to Exeter NH Historic District Commission Patrick Gordon, Chair of Exeter NH Historic District Commission

The IOKA Theater's iconic circa 1936-1941 marquee in Exeter, NH is one vote away from being permanently removed and lost forever!

Although we fully support the new IOKA owners in saving the building and breathing new life into it, we vehemently ask that they preserve rather than remove the beloved marquee. The removal of the marquee will drastically alter the look and character of Exeter's downtown!

Exeter Historic District Commission (HDC) Chair, Patrick Gordon reminded members of the last meeting (6/18/20) that "there is an iconography..." of marquees in NH and he gave examples of other restored marquees in NH, such as those of The Strand in Dover, The Colonial Theater in Keene and The Palace in Manchester. Likewise, let's not forget that the neon Yoken's sign in Portsmouth and the vintage Colonial marquee and the Weirs Beach sign, both in Laconia, were restored as well. He added, "There definitely is a language of that architecture existing within NH itself... Considering the age of that [IOKA] marquee, it's not really in that a bad shape at all for what it has endured to date... " Sadly, Patrick was the only member who saw value in preserving the marquee. The other members admitted they have no tie or nostalgia for the marquee and didn't "have a problem with" us losing it.

Remind the Exeter HDC that they are stewards of the Secretary of the Interior's standards of preservation for historic structures: Their job is to "uphold historic structures as much as possible... " As per the guidelines, "A property will be given a use that maximizes the retention of the distinctive materials, features, spaces, and spacial relationships... The replacement of intact or repairable historic materials, or alterations of features, spaces, and spacial relationships that characterize a property will be avoided..." Request that the HDC ask that the owners' creative architectural firm find a way to preserve this important feature of our town's history! Patrick Gordan stated that if there are any safety issues with the current marquee, they "all can be remedied fairy easily" to be up to code.

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This petition made change with 2,661 supporters!