Town Denies Proposal to Turn Oscar Hammerstein II's Farm Into Music Theatre Center | Playbill

News Town Denies Proposal to Turn Oscar Hammerstein II's Farm Into Music Theatre Center The proposed plans to renovate Oscar Hammerstein II's property into a museum and theatre were denied by the Doylestown Township zoning board, reports.

As previously reported, Will Hammerstein, Oscar Hammerstein II's grandson, hoped to transform the farm, located in suburban Philadelphia, into the Oscar Hammerstein II Music & Theatre Education Center.

Plans for the center included a house tour and a museum exhibit in the barn followed by a performance. A 400-seat venue and a parking lot were to be built.

The plan was opposed by Doylestown Township supervisors and neighbors, who said that the $20 million proposal is too much development for the the 40-acre property. Concerns of nearby property owners included noise, traffic and storm-water runoff.

Five meetings had previously been held on the subject, and the vote was unanimous.

Bill Bolla, the board's solicitor, told that the proposal "was a neighborhood-changing proposal that was not justified." reports that Hammerstein may appeal the denial. The farm was Hammerstein's favorite place and the location of many collaborations with Richard Rodgers, including The Sound of Music.

Hammerstein's son James attended the local school alongside Stephen Sondheim, who was a frequent guest at the farm, which was sold by Hammerstein's widow following his death. It was recently renovated by Christine Cole as a bed and breakfast, with each room devoted to a different musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Will visited the building in 2010.

Hammerstein contributed the book and lyrics to musicals including Show Boat, Rose-Marie and Golden Dawn. His many collaborations with Richard Rodgers include Cinderella, Carousel, South Pacific and The King and I, among others.

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