Inch by inch, the Times Square Palace Theater will be raised 29 feet to accommodate added retail

Development, East, News, Preservation
Thursday, December 3, 2015
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(Courtesy PBDW Architects)

The Palace Theater (Courtesy PBDW Architects)

In any other circumstance, razing a beloved historic building elicits outrage from preservationists. This time, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) worked the homonym, approving plans to raise the Palace Theater, at the corner of Seventh Avenue and West 47th Street, by 29 feet. New York’s PBDW Architects and historic preservation consultants Higgins Quasebarth & Partners will lead the theater-raising and subsequent renovation. Read More

Archtober Building of the Day 19> Theatre for a New Audience at Polonsky Shakespeare Center

Architecture, East
Monday, October 19, 2015
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(Courtesy Center for Architecture)

(Courtesy Center for Architecture)

Theatre for a New Audience at Polonsky Shakespeare Center
262 Ashland Place, Brooklyn
H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture

“All the world’s a stage, and all men and women merely players.” At today’s Archtober tour of the Theatre for a New Audience at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center, H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture‘s Geoff Lynch and David Haakenson explained how the firm took the Bard’s oft-quoted lines to their logical architectural conclusion.

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Eavesdrop> First as Tragedy: What’s up with LA’s Greek Theater?

Eavesdroplet, West
Friday, October 9, 2015
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Rios Clementi Hale Studios' rendering of the Greek Theater.

Rios Clementi Hale Studios’ rendering of the Greek Theater.

When the discussion for Los Angeles Recreation & Parks to give Live Nation the contract to manage The Greek Theatre were scuttled earlier this year, it was unclear what would come of the proposed modernization of the 5,900-seat venue by Rios Clementi Hale Studios. Word from inside the office says the project is moving forward with new designs to come, even as Pennsylvania-based SMG looks poised to win the event management contract.

On View> In the Library: Setting the Scene with Theater Architecture and Set Design

Architecture, East, On View
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
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(Courtesy National Gallery of Art)

(Courtesy National Gallery of Art)

In the Library: Setting the Scene with Theater Architecture and Set Design
National Gallery of Art
6th and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C.
Through October 2

Performance venues have constantly morphed with the times, from the amphitheaters of ancient times to the digitally enabled entertainment centers of today.

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Bureau V’s experimental music venue with a high-tech vibe set to open in a former Williamsburg sawmill

National Sawdust by Bureau V

National Sawdust by Bureau V

Brooklyn designers Bureau V have completed National Sawdust, an experimental performance venue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that will be home to the Original Music Workshop (OMW). The name of the venue comes from the existing building’s history as a sawmill. OMW is a nonprofit led by composer Paola Prestini, whose advisory board includes heavy-hitters such as James Murphy, Laurie Anderson, Suzanne Vega, and Philip Glass.

Continue reading after the jump.

This pleated concrete theater in Culver City is getting a 21st century boost from Hodgetts & Fung

West
Thursday, May 7, 2015
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Construction of Frost Auditorium (Julius Shulman/ Getty Research Institute)

Construction of Frost Auditorium (Julius Shulman/ Getty Research Institute)

AN has been covering Hodgetts + Fung‘s efforts to update Los Angeles’ Norms Diner for the 21st century, but another of the firm’s projects will rigorously update a less known—and perhaps more impressive—modernist structure nearby: Culver City High School’s Frost Memorial Auditorium in Culver City.

Continue reading after the jump.

Long-empty Strand Theater to re-open in San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood

Architecture, News, Preservation, West
Friday, March 27, 2015
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The theater's historic facade has been given a lively facelift. (SOM)

The theater’s historic facade has been given a lively facelift. (SOM)

In May, San Francisco will open its intensive renovation of the Strand Theater, one of so many additions to the city’s quickly-changing Mid-Market area. Designed by SOM and Page & Turnbull, the new facility is located inside a 1917 building originally used for Vaudeville and then for second-run movies. Read More

Archtober Building of the Day #1> The Public Theater at Astor Place

Architecture, East
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
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(Eve Dilworth Rosen)

Archtober Building of the Day #1
The Public Theater at Astor Place
425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY
Ennead Architects

Many “Building of the Day” tours demonstrate the vibrancy of New York City, as it manifests itself in public spaces, public buildings, and, today, in the Public Theater. Theater shows us who we are, and the Public Theater has presented a balanced mix of Shakespeare, classics, musicals, contemporary works, and experimental. The lobby is filled with words, and immediately my head is filled with quotes from the Bard: “What do you read, my lord,” and Hamlet replies: ”Words, words, words.” So we kick off with some good words about the public, the theater, and the splendid blend of history and aspiration that brings them all together.

Continue reading after the jump.

Another Brutalist Wonder Bites the Dust: Johansen’s Mechanic Theatre

Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore (photo: Edward Gunts)

Despite pleas for preservation from some of the nation’s top architects, demolition work has begun on  a nationally significant example of “Brutalist” architecture in north America, the 1967 Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland, designed by the late John M. Johansen.

A  yellow backhoe with a spike-like attachment began chipping into the theater’s concrete exterior earlier this month, ending any chance that the building could be saved. One local preservationist was able to salvage the original letters from the  building, but nothing else. Read More

Detroit’s infamous theater-turned-parking garage sold at auction

Detroit's crumbling Michigan Theatre has fallen into disrepair since its 1926 construction. (Hermann Schleicher-Roevenstrunck via Flickr)

Detroit’s Michigan Theatre has fallen into disrepair since its 1926 construction. (Hermann Schleicher-Roevenstrunck via Flickr)

Detroit’s Michigan Theatre remains iconic, but not for the reasons that made it so during its early 20th century heyday. Now the opulent 1926 concert hall holds parked cars instead of theater-goers. Will it remain a symbol of Detroit’s struggle to recover from long-term disinvestment, or could it become emblematic of the city’s resilience?

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Bittertang Farms’ organic amphitheater sprouts from straw in Lake Forest, Illinois

Buru Buru amphitheatre at the Ragdale Ring in Lake Forest, Illinois. (Bittertang Farms)

Buru Buru amphitheatre at the Ragdale Ring in Lake Forest, Illinois. (Bittertang Farms)

Work wrapped up this summer on Bittertang Farms’ installation at Ragdale, the nonprofit artists’ community in Chicago’s North Shore suburbs, and true to its plans the straw amphitheater springs forth from a lush hillside in Lake Forest, Illinois.

Continue reading after the jump.

Post-Recession, Las Vegas’ Builders are “Cautiously Aggressive”

Las Vegas is bouncing back from the recession with new construction, including Gensler's 2013 renovation of The AXIS Theater inside Planet Hollywood. (Ryan Gobuty for Gensler)

Las Vegas is bouncing back from the recession with new construction, including Gensler’s 2013 renovation of The AXIS Theater inside Planet Hollywood. (Ryan Gobuty for Gensler)

“It’s a fun time in Vegas right now, with the economy up,” said Beth Campbell, principal and managing director of Gensler’s Las Vegas office. Downtown is being reborn, thanks in no small part to Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s multi-million dollar investment. The Strip, too, is booming—see the High Roller observation wheel, which opened on March 31. At the same time, the spendthrift breeziness of the pre-recession years is gone. “Everyone is coming back to life, but with a refined focus and purpose,” said Campbell. “I would say the clients and developers are cautiously aggressive…they still want to grow, still want to reach for the sky…But they’re really focused on how they’re applying [their money] to make these projects happen.”

Continue reading after the jump.

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