The need to renovate Music Hall
in Over-the-Rhine has been at the forefront of arts and culture conversations for nearly a decade. Those plans are finally being put into action in 2016 as Music Hall Revitalization Company
works to preserve the 140-year-old historic building.
Music Hall hasn’t been renovated for more than 40 years, so this overhaul is a big deal. Such a big deal, in fact, that Music Hall will be closed starting June 1 and won’t reopen until fall 2017, if everything goes according to plan. This means that the building’s resident companies will perform elsewhere in their upcoming seasons — Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
and Cincinnati May Festival
will perform at the Taft Theatre
for the 2016-2017 season, while Cincinnati Opera
will perform at the Aronoff Center for the Arts
for its 2016 and 2017 summer seasons.
A few smaller renovations are already in the works, such as structural and office demo. Within the next 90 days, the larger part of the work will begin.
Smaller seating capacity
: 1,000 seats will be removed from Springer Auditorium to make the auditorium more intimate, and false walls will be erected on two levels of the concert hall to amplify sound. All of the seats will be replaced, and the new seats will be wider with more legroom. The main floor will be resloped, along with the balconies, and new boxes will be installed. A new thrust stage will be added for the orchestra.
: The lobby, which will be renamed the Edyth B. Lindner Grand Foyer, will have new torchiere lighting along the balcony railings to show off the ceiling, and the smaller Czech chandeliers will be replaced.
New patron lounge
: A new lounge is being added at the back of Springer Auditorium, and new bars, concessions areas and LED screens will be installed. The box office and gift shop are getting a facelift as well.
: The currently bricked-up windows on Music Hall’s facade will be restored to allow in more light, and new accent lighting will be installed to illuminate the building at night.
: Bathrooms for both sexes will be added, increasing the number of stalls by more than 50 percent.
: There will also be improved access for patrons with mobility issues, including street-level access through the box office, more wheelchair accessible seating, mobile wheelchair charging stations and an assisted listening system inside the auditorium. Two new elevators are also being installed that will give patrons access to all floors.
Orchestra library reorganization
: Music Hall currently houses the world’s largest orchestra library, but it’s not stored in any one location within the building. When it reopens, more than 140 years of music will be represented in one fire-protected room on the first floor.
A public campaign is currently underway to raise the remaining $5 million of the $135 million needed for the renovation. To donate, click here