This restoration of a 1922 auditorium returned it to its original intimacy and beauty, while incorporating contemporary theatrical lighting and sound- reinforcement systems. This involved reducing the capacity by about 200 seats to improve sightlines and comfort. A catwalk system was created above the vault to facilitate some of the lighting and CAPACITY820COST PER SQ FT$94.34FEATURED IN2002 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation systems.
During a 1955 modernization, much of the original hall was lost, including an original mural by Merlin Pollock, “Union of Hearts and Hands,” a heroic depiction of the reconciliation of the North and South after the Civil War.
The flat ceiling installed in 1955 was removed, exposing a barrel vault punctuated with plaster beams and coppered ceiling panels with cornices decorated by small corbels. The original proscenium had almost completely deteriorated, and new plaster columns and molding were created based on original drawings and pictures.
The final decorative treatments replicate the original finishes, including stencils and trompe l’oeil detailing accented by the sparkle of metallic gold leaf. At the top of the walls, a swagged garland prieze draws the eye toward the re-created mural. Integral to the restoration are replications of the period chandeliers, the seating and the paisley carpeting.