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Uihlein Hall - Marcus Center for the Performing Arts - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts is Wisconsin's premier arts venue. The Marcus Center is undergoing a multi-phase renovation with a value to date of $26.5 million. Renovation of the 2300-seat Uihlein Hall was completed in November, 1997.
Originally designed by Harry Weese and opened in 1969, the hall is used by the Marcus Center Broadway Series, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Ballet Company, Milwaukee Florentine Opera Company, First Stage Milwaukee, and a great variety of other productions.
In the auditorium the renovation included replacing the seating and auditorium flooring because they were worn out and also because the new acoustical design required more reflection and less absorption. Fabric seat backs and thick back pads were replaced with wood backs and thin pads, and the carpet was replaced with a handsome hard textured surface.
Robert Davis Inc. consulted on aesthetic considerations in the auditorium. Working with the team, Robert Davis Inc. suggested modifications that enhanced theatrical focus and intimacy, updated the design style of the room, and preserved its exceptional grace and power.
Jim Read was a member of the original theater consulting team with the original theater consultant, George Izenour. In the renovation Mr. Read was theater consultant for the new orchestra shell and for renovation and modification of all stage equipment.
The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts borders Milwaukee's riverwalk system. The renovation planners took the opportunity to add a diminutive outdoor performance space for children's performances, called Kidz Stage. The project was awarded Mayor John O. Norquist's 2000 Design Award for its contribution to Milwaukee's urban fabric. Consulting on such a project is difficult because there are no precedents and no standard solutions. Robert Davis Inc. consulted on making the Kidz Stage functional and on making it a place both audiences and performers love to use.
Architect: Kahler Slater Architects, Inc. - Milwaukee,