Name: Oriental Theatre/Ford Center for the Performing Arts
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Size: 2300 seats
Cost: $36 million
Originally built in 1925, the Oriental Theatre had been vacant and moth-balled for almost a decade before design work, renovation and restoration was undertaken. With an enlarged stage house the former vaudeville theater has been transformed into a 2,300 seat performing arts center suitable for large scale theatrical events such as Broadway musical theater, dance and other popular concerts.
Although much complex and detailed preservation of the lavish interior finishes and ornamentation in the auditorium and the lobbies was done, a significant amount of physical change also occurred. The lobby was enlarged, sight lines and seating were redesigned and improved, modern concession and toilet facilities were inserted.
The stage was reconstructed to be double its original depth and the expansion is carved into the adjacent Oliver Building and is now a60 feet deep, Stage support areas were also created for dressing, costume and prop rooms. Additionally, a 2,400 SF rehearsal hall occupies the former boiler room. State-of-the art technical equipment, rigging, lighting and sound systems were installed. The orchestra pit has been expanded to hold up to 72 musicians. New HVAC, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems were introduced throughout in this massive undertaking.
Images & description courtesy of Daniel P. Coffey & Associates, Ltd. PA/PM/CA work completed by Brian Rich at Daniel P. Coffey & Associates, Ltd.