New York City CenterEdit profile
The modernization and upgrade of the 1923 New York City landmark building includes the preservation and restoration of its historic features. Led by Partner-in-Charge Duncan Hazard, the Ennead team completed Phase I, with its focus on back-of-house improvements, in September 2010. After a six month hiatus to accommodate the theater’s performance schedule, Phase II, which will transform the front-of-house experience, began in March 2011. The completed project will be unveiled at the building’s gala re-opening on Tuesday, October 25, 2011.
The renovation design integrates state-of-the-art technologies and amenities with the building’s historic design elements to preserve its essential character and rich history while providing a more comfortable theatergoing experience.
A new 55th Street marquee and dramatic, exterior lighting will enhance the celebrated façade and street presence of the landmark theater. Inside, an enlarged, redesigned orchestra-level lobby will facilitate audience traffic flow into the building. In the auditorium, patrons will be accommodated in approximately 2,200 new, wider seats with expanded legroom and greatly improved sightlines. In addition to bringing the theater up to code and improving accessibility, Phase II includes new elevator service, additional and refurbished restrooms, a new patrons’ lounge and redesigned bars.
City Center, with its unique neo-Moorish design, was originally built as a meeting hall for the Ancient Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (the “Shriners”). Its interior features elaborate arabesque motifs and intricate plasterwork. To highlight its Moorish architecture and decorative detail, the auditorium walls, long covered with white paint, are being returned to their original palette of rich colors.
Phase II of the renovation is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification. Measures including water-saving toilets in all restrooms; energy-efficient lighting, heating, and air conditioning; enhanced recycling of building waste; and “green housekeeping” will minimize City Center’s impact on the environment.