(Cincinnati, OH) – Cincinnati Music Hall received the Historic Theater of the Year award from Heritage Ohio at its Annual Preservation and Revitalization Awards Ceremony held Tuesday, October 23 at the historic Allen Theater in downtown Cleveland.
The Historic Theater of the Year award was created to celebrate the most ambitious and successful theater rehabilitations throughout Ohio, and the ceremony’s independent award selection committee was quick to recognize Music Hall with the award this year.
“We were thrilled to recognize Cincinnati’s Music Hall,” said Joyce Barrett, Executive Director of Heritage Ohio. “As a National Historic Landmark, the importance of this rehabilitation has national significance. It is a spectacular place, and a stunning example of historic preservation.”
Cincinnati’s iconic Music Hall has experienced many revitalization and rehabilitation projects since it was built in 1878, and the venue appeared on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of the Eleven Most Endangered Historic Places as recently as 2014.
After the curtain fell on the 2016 May Festival, Music Hall closed to the public for a sixteen-month, $143 million renovation – one of the most comprehensive transformations in the venue’s 140-year history – and celebrated a triumphant Grand Opening in October 2017. The revitalization project brought much-needed updates and upgrades to this beloved arts destination, while improving upon its world-class acoustics and retaining its historic grandeur.
The Music Hall renovation project team included the Music Hall Revitalization Company, led during the project by Board Chair Otto M. Budig, Jr; Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC), project manager; Messer, construction manager; Perfido, Weiskopf, Wagstaff + Goettel (PWWG), lead architect; Martinez + Johnson (M+J), theater architect; Akustiks, acousticians; and Schuler Shook, theater consultants; with support from the Cincinnati Arts Association, the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall, and the venue’s acclaimed resident companies – Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Pops, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and May Festival.
“Nearly everything is subject to the change of fashion and time,” said Otto M. Budig, Jr., Chairman of the Music Hall Revitalization Company during the renovation project. “Although life is short, the revitalization of Music Hall will provide generations yet to be born a home for the arts, which has been saved by an uprising of love from the community it serves. I was honored to lead this effort.”
“The Society for the Preservation of Music Hall is honored to be a co-recipient of this award and was privileged to participate in the exciting and successful historic renovation of Music Hall. This award underscores the commitment of SPMH to fulfill its core mission to preserve and improve Music Hall as the premier cultural center of Greater Cincinnati,” said Peter Koenig, President of the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall.
“Because historic preservation is as much an art as it is science, Perfido, Weiskopf, Wagstaff + Goettel (PWWG) led a large team of design, engineering, and construction experts in skillful triage about what to restore and what to modernize to ensure Music Hall’s structural integrity and architectural heritage, while creating extraordinary environments for performers, patrons, and staff,” said Alan Weiskopf, Managing Principal at PWWG and Principal-in-Charge for the Music Hall Revitalization. “The team made sensitive changes and judiciously allocated available funds at every stage so that the building achieves the highest level of performance for performing arts, and delivers a winning variety of new amenities, with the character-defining features intact that make it a one-of-a-kind architectural jewel. PWWG is delighted that the project is being recognized for the monumental achievement of our team members and stakeholders.”
About Heritage Ohio
As Ohio’s official historic preservation and Main Street organization, Heritage Ohio fosters economic development and sustainability through preservation of historic buildings, revitalization of downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts, and promotion of local tourism. Learn more by visiting www.heritageohio.org.
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