Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass announced today that the Genecov Group is donating $500,000 toward the renovation of the former Liberty Theatre in downtown Tyler.
With the donation, the Genecov Group becomes the primary sponsor for the project, allowing them naming rights, as well. The theatre, located in downtown Tyler, will be turned into a performing arts hall that will become a destination point in East Texas.
The project is a partnership between the East Texas Symphony Orchestra Association (ETSOA and the City of Tyler.
"We are exceedingly grateful to the Genecov Group for their generosity and commitment to our community," said Mayor Bass. "This is a tremendous step toward the realization of goals identified in the Tyler 21 plan for the revitalization of downtown into a Business, Arts and Culture District."
"Maurine Genecov Muntz has always been supportive of the arts and it is in her honor the Genecov Group will help fund the renovation of Liberty Hall," said Dennis Darryl, Genecov CEO. "As far back as 1988 we began retro-remodeling our downtown properties to preserve their historic appearance. Now it is exciting to combine the arts and downtown on the same project. By participating with the City of Tyler and East Texas Symphony, we believe we are also encouraging a more vibrant downtown."
"This scale of the two levels will make every seat in the house feel up close and personal," said City Councilmember Chris Simons. "Mike Butler did a great job in the preliminary conceptual design; he made this an intimate venue where attendees can thoroughly experience the performance."
"This gift is not just a gift to ETSO or to downtown," said Beverly Abell, director of the Tyler Main Street Program. "This is a gift to the people of Tyler, who will see one of the City's entertainment centers of the past become an integral part of the future of the historic heart of Tyler."
Management and ownership of the theater will be transferred to the ETSOA upon completion of all renovations with the City maintaining some oversight related to funding for tourism related activities.
"When we purchased the Liberty, I felt that it signaled the beginning of a renaissance downtown," said Mark McDaniel, City manager designate. "Receiving this donation and moving forward with the renovation further illustrates the momentum underway."