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The Following History Was submitted to the  Architectural  Review Board in 2006

The commercial building at 1101 Queen Street was originally built in 1939 as the Lincoln Theater, a“colored theater”. It is a two story brick art moderne building with a rounded corner and tower. The building has a facade of blond brick with contrasting red brick striping at the second level and at top of the corner turret and a watertable of red brick. Originally, the theater ticket booth was located at the corner apex and was flanked by entrances on Queen and North Henry Streets. The Queen Street entrance has been infilled with brick and the North Henry Street entrance doors have been replaced with new aluminum and glass doors. New windows have been added on the second level along North Henry Street. However, overall, the exterior of the building is remarkably unaltered from its original appearance as a movie theater. It was designed by John J. Zink for H.A.Wasserman and built by local builder D.E. Bayliss (Building Permit #2224, 8/3/1939). Zink was one of the best known theater designers on the east coast in the 1930s and 1940s. In the 1960s the theater operated on the site in conjunction with a “pool hall and amusement arcade.” The building was converted to its present use as a automobile parts store in 1971 (SUP #851, 10/6/1971).

According to a Washington, DC history web site: ‘John J. Zink (1886-1952) was a native Baltimore architect who designed numerous movie houses in the Mid-Atlantic region during the early to mid 20th Century. "Zink was considered a top 'Moderne' architect at a time when many architects were designing in elaborate, emotional styles. Employing modest designs, Zink's attentions were directed toward technical aspects of theater architecture, such as clear views for all movie-goers, ideal lighting and acoustics. Often having his designs published in theater trade catalogues, Zink typically incorporated such amenities as nurseries, lounges and smoking rooms in his movie house plans."

BAR CASE #2006-0165

July 26, 2006


"Zink began his architectural training at the Maryland Institute, practicing for a short time with Baltimore architects Wyatt and Nolting. By 1910, Zink had established an office in the Builder's Exchange Building, and was advertising in Baltimore's Business Directory. Prior to World War I, Zink relocated to New York to attend the Columbia School of Architecture. During this period, he worked closely with renowned theater architect Thomas W. Lamb. Returning to Baltimore in 1916, Zink worked in the office of Ewald G. Blanke, where he was involved in numerous movie house renovation projects and new design projects. After the early 1920s, Zink worked independently, winning commissions for the Takoma Theater at 6833 4th Street N.W. (1922); the Uptown Theater on Connecticut Avenue, N.W. (1936). The Uptown, designed for Warner Brothers, was part of a significant social change in Washington. It was built one block down Connecticut Avenue from Washington's first 'Park and Shop' center, in response to the cardriving public. The Art Deco Uptown was praised not for its architecture, but because it had been so cheap to build and because easy parking was already established.

The Senator Theater on York Road in Baltimore, one of the most-celebrated of Zink's theater designs, was constructed for Durkee Enterprises in 1939." Having made a name in the theater world as a prominent architect, Zink designed the Atlas Theater and several others for K and B Amusement Company. The Baltimore firm of Zink, Atkins and Craycroft designed over 200 movie theaters in eastern cities during the heyday of movie theater design including the Uptown Theater on Connecticut Avenue in North West Washington. In addition to the Atlas Theater (1939) and Uptown (1936) Zink designed the Newton (1937), Apex (1941), Senator (1942), MacArthur (1945) and Naylor (1945) in Washington and the Flower (1950) in Silver Spring, MD.”

Zink and also designed the Carver Theater now the Antioch Church of Christ at 1120 Queen Street at the west end of the block at Queen and North Fayette Streets, on the same block as the Lincoln Theater, as a movie theater in 1948. In 1995 the Board approved the existing second story windows for offices (BAR Case #94-32PG).

The building is an important community landmark within the Parker-Gray District.

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