The Morse Theater, originally a 1912 vaudeville and silent screen (nickelodeon)
in the heart of Chicago’s Rogers Park on Lake Michigan, reopened in Fall
2008 as a state-of-the-art, 299-seat live-performance venue and theatre, as well
as vintage/independent cinema.
While the building’s storefronts had been occupied by various commercial
concerns almost continuously, the theater space had remained little changed
and predominantly unused from the 1970s to the present. Time, neglect and economic
change had taken their toll, but some original interior architectural details
and much of the 1912 terra-cotta façade had survived.
In its latest incarnation, the existing structure was “saved,” and
the entire renovation, including planted roof, follows green environmental
building standards. The Morse’s LED and fluorescent lighting will consume
less energy, last longer, and create less physical waste than standard lighting.
Almost half of the stage lighting and the entire marquee, typically all incandescent
and neon, have been designed using LED light.
“In my original conversations when we started this project, I gathered
from the designers that the intent was to design a sign that would be reflective
of the ’30s and ’40s era look but to make it conform to being as
green as possible to accommodate today’s energy-consciousness,” said
Gary L. Peterson, National Sales Manager of LEDtronics®, Inc.
“They indicated that the original sign used lamps that would probably
be equivalent to today’s 11-watt S14 lamp or a 15-watt A19. The typical
replacement rate on standard incandescent S14 and A19 lamps is about every
750 hours, according to most sign people with whom I have talked.”
On October 9, 2008, the theater reopened with its first show, the underside
of its marquee dotted by 150 units of the LEDtronics DEC-S14LF-XIW-120A LED bulb.
The LEDtronics LED
bulbs draw only 1.3 watts of power each and last up to 50,000 hours.
The marquee was redesigned entirely from a black-and-white photograph from
the 1940s. Its LED lighting system will require approximately 1500 watts to
operate, which is equivalent to the use of an electric toaster oven. It will
use only 15% of the electricity a typical marquee of equal size requires to
Under the guidance of Thom Greene of Greene & Proppe Design, The Morse
Theatre re-development is certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design (LEED) project by Mayor Daley’s Green Initiative Program. (LEED
promotes sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human
and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy
efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality). It is also
expected to qualify for United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Silver
Level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
150 units of LEDtronics DEC-S14LF-XIW-120A LED bulb
LEDtronics Sales Rep Firm involved with this application:
Barry M. Fues / Mid-America Representatives, Inc.
One North Williams
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Office: 815 / 455-5310 x11
Cell: 708 / 560-4328
Fax: 815 / 455-5351
Thom Greene, Architect
Greene & Proppe Design Inc
1209 W. Berwyn Ave, Chicago, Ill 60640
The Morse Theater
1328 W. Morse Ave.
Chicago, IL 60626
The Product Used: DEC-S14LF-XIW-120A