On the evening of the June 6 circus-themed First Friday, Lansdale Borough is going to party like it's 1912.
Around 8:45 p.m., West Main Street will be shut down temporarily and the street lights will go out. Spotlights via Fairmount Fire Co. engines will go on and all will be unveiled.
While there won't be a huge curtain covering the front of 311 W. Main St.—the old Masonic Temple that will serve as the future site of 311 Arts—Lansdale is poised to show off the newly-restored facade in all its former glory. An invitation-only reception will follow at Tabora Farms at 209 W. Main St.
Earlier this year, Lansdale Council approved the restoration of the facade, which explains the scaffolding on the sidewalk in front of the building.
"It is going to be a good time had by all. We are going to see what it looked like in 1912 when it first opened," said Lansdale Economic Development Committee Vice Chairman and 311 Arts Committee member Richard Strahm last week.
Strahm said the borough has been living with scaffolding for quite a few months.
"For those who have had the opportunity to walk under the scaffolding and peek at the terra cotta front, it is the nicest of pieces," Strahm said. "Up close and personal, what they have done with the front of that building is nothing short of amazing. I can't wait to see the reveal and see the whole front of the building."
Strahm said there are many people in town who have invested in the "very important building." He added he was skeptical of new windows that were installed in the building.
"They look amazing. They blend so well with the building," he said. "You don't see them a lot in commercial buildings, but they are double-hung windows with screens. So, there will be opportunities to open the windows and allow breeze to come through the building."
Economic Development Committee member Matt West said part of the scaffolding is dismantled at present, so interested persons can see what the facade looks like, and likened it to "peeking at Christmas presents."
"Well, keep your eyes closed until June 6," said committee Chairwoman Mary Fuller.
Borough Manager Timi Kirchner said even though people can see the building now, the borough wanted to make an event of it.
"We wanted to do something grand," she said.
She said at last week's council session that the new facade is "a sight to behold."
"I took the time to look at it from different angles," she said. "It is one of the top historical buildings in the borough. Certainly, it will improve the look of downtown Main Street."
At that same council session, Fuller said 311 W. Main St. is one of the top historical buildings in Lansdale.
"We need to preserve the front of that. It was borderline dangerous," she said. "For appreciation of the work done and moving the project forward and restoring beauty to the downtown, we will make a big deal of the event."