Historic Theater Restoration
In 2013, John Senhauser Architects and Westlake Reed Leskosky were selected by the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) and the Memorial Hall Society to renovate the historic Hamilton County Memorial Building. Our approach to the restoration and renovation of Memorial Hall drew on the same fundamental characteristics that guide all of our work – to connect body and memory to place by carefully crafting details that are specific and relevant to the project. Acutely aware of the historical significance of this 1908 Beaux-Arts building and the critical role it plays in the greater context of the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and Washington Park arts district, we directed our efforts toward reconciling the issues of restoration and renovation, theater and infrastructural upgrades, and proper utilization of Historic Tax Credits for this landmark structure.
Using a light touch, the key component of this restoration and renovation involved the reworking of support spaces to the rear of the auditorium’s proscenium. Maximizing the 7 ft of additional space allowed for an addition, we worked to improve the circulation, services, and amenities necessary to support a modern-day theater. Updates to accessibility, HVAC systems, back-of-house area, and AV technology have helped make Memorial Hall a popular addition to the area’s arts scene.
Photography: Phil Armstrong
Awards & Publications
2017 Merit Award AIA Cincinnati Design Awards
2017 Rehabilitation Award, Cincinnati Preservation Association