Letter to the editor: Protect film building
To the editor:
Hopefully the Lawrence City Commission will vote against allowing the Centron building (Oldfather Studios property on West Ninth Street) to be rezoned to allow apartments on the site.
This is a historic building that should be protected. Centron Films produced some of the most recognizable educational films of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, from its studio based here in Lawrence. Centron company produced dozens of industrial and educational films for Young America, McGraw-Hill and dozens of Fortune 500 companies until 1981, when Russell Mosser and Art Wolf sold the company and retired. Wolf went on to serve as an instructor at KU in broadcast journalism.
I doubt if Kansas philanthropist Hortense Oldfather, who donated the studio and land, would approve of this quick cash scheme if she were alive today. Her goal was to provide the building to KU for film and theater students to use.
Perhaps there would be a compromise? Apartments could be built, but part or all of the original Centron Films (Oldfather Studio) building would be incorporated into the design. This is what a community would do that values its history and architecture.