Cincinnati’s Memorial Hall gets a new lease on life

November 10, 2013 by  

It was revealed late last month that John Senhauser Architects, a Cincinnati firm, and the Cleveland concern Westlake Reed Leskosky will provide their expertise to the project to renovated and revitalize Cincinnati’s Memorial Hall.

The 600-seat venue is a Beaux Arts masterpiece built in 1908; a time period that has inevitably taken its toll on the building. Total renovation costs may top $10m.

However, that will be money well spent, according to William Baumann, who is president of the Memorial Hall Society, a non-profit organization. Baumann points out the building is in demand, with 70 groups scheduling more than 100 events there in the past year; a number he expects to double next year. He envisions Memorial Hall as the cornerstone of a world-class center for the arts in Cincinnati, a district that would include the two theaters in this building, several other theaters in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, and the city’s School for Creative and Performing Arts.

Planned renovations include improvements behind the scenes, including new heating and electrical systems, a new roof, improved restrooms and air conditioning. The back wall may be extended by seven feet to provide room to improve the backstage area and the kitchen.

Since this project promises to be of significant importance to the city, the Memorial Hall organization could consider working with brochure printers to create a mailer for city residents, discussing the building’s history, the planned renovations, why the revitalization is necessary, and what it means for the arts in Cincinnati.