This will be the first major renovation to Powell Hall since the symphony took residency there in 1968. The estimated total cost of the renovations is more than 100 million dollars.
The project focuses on renovating the existing structure, built in 1925, as well as adding a 65,000 square foot expansion focusing on community accessibility and connections. The current plan is to make Powell Hall a “state of the art music facility” for the community as well as keeping is historical charm.
The additional space will be used as a learning center and rehearsal space for the symphonies chorus and youth symphonies in the area. It will also be used as a rehearsal and venue space for other music education programs and events.
“[Powell Hall has] superb architecture, which we plan to preserve,” said, SLSO President and CEO, Marie-Hélène Bernard. “It has some of the finest acoustics of any concert hall in the country, but like many halls over the years, especially approaching 100 years, there is an aging process. So we need to update. The audience experience has evolved, and the experience of artists has evolved as well.”
The new expansion will also hold an updated lobby and backstage space that features dressing rooms, lounges, practice areas and a media library with recording suites. These additions will “help ensure that Powell Hall remains a destination for the SLSO’s many celebrated artistic collaborators,” according to a release announcing the plans.
The project is being done by Snohetta, an architectural firm with a St. Louis based architect of record Christner Architects. The project is still in the planning stages and more information will be released as it progresses.