WWI names uncovered on brick wall in Clearwater - WFLA News Channel 8

WWI names uncovered on brick wall in Clearwater

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CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) -

Behind plaster, under exposed beams and old plumbing, workers renovating the Capitol Theatre in downtown Clearwater, came across a list of names on the original brick wall.

"These are the fun types of things you want to find in a restoration project like this," said Jeff Hartzog, Director of Operations for Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Capitol Theatre.

The names include members of some of the original families who lived in Clearwater at the turn of the century:  Macmullen, Plumb, and Turner.

At the very top, in larger letters, a partial heading can be seen that reads, "Of Honor" , leading local historians to believe that it's a list of the enlisted men from Clearwater who served in World War One.

"At some point, most likely around 1918 they put those names up there and dedicated it to the gentlemen that went to war. They had performances here so people could see it. It was in the downtown square so this was a hub of activity," said Hartzog.

The city of Clearwater and Ruth Eckerd Hall are spending about $7 million to restore the 92 year old theatre.

When restored and expanded, the theatre will seat 700 and have an outdoor balcony patio.

The brick wall was originally going to be sledge hammered to create a walk-through to the new section. Now those in charge of the project are trying to determine what part of it will be saved.

"At this point we're thinking we're going to try to keep it. Remove it brick by brick and number it so it can be reassembled. The piece under the balcony poses a bigger problem because it's part of a supporting wall, so we have a lot of what ifs," said Hartzog.

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