Music Hall Revitalization

Cincinnati, OH

We Are Building

Music Hall is listed as one of the attractions that help Cincinnati rank No. 8 on The New York Times' "Top 52 Cities to Visit" (click and scroll to No. 8), and is also hailed as a benchmark project and approach to revitalizing a historic, performing arts venue (see The New York Times article on Cincinnati's approach to Music Hall renovation). 

Originally opened in 1878, Music Hall is considered one of the most beautiful concert theaters in the world and has become a symbol of Cincinnati's commitment to the arts. Music Hall hosts more than 350 events annually, including some of the world's greatest musicians, but had not undergone a major renovation in nearly 50 years.

Music Hall's owners decided to renovate the facility out of a need to enhance the patron experience and mitigate infrastructure issues associated with outdated MEP systems in need of replacement. Messer was chosen for this restoration based on our intimate understanding of theatre construction, and we provided budgeting assistance for the project in 2005 (years prior to project award). 

Building Information Modeling (BIM) utilized to create a working digital model of the physical and functional characteristics of the facility prior to construction. It was critical for the owner that we met the completion date: opening night ceremonies and events were publicized well in advanced. We also had to ensure all unique needs of the end uses are met: Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati May Festival, and Cincinnati Ballet.

Features and Facts

  • AGC of America Award for Building Renovation (2019)
  • AGC Build Ohio Award for Renovation (2018)
  • BD+C Reconstruction Platinum Award Winner (2018)
  • The Ohio History Connection's Preservation Merit Award (2018)
  • The scope of work at Music Hall "included a resloped main floor and a new stage. It was the largest such project in the building’s 140-year history" as stated in ENR Midwest Top 100 Contractors listing.
  • 280,000 sf historic and functional restoration of all major areas
  • Demolished and reconstructed of the main auditorioum; replacement of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems
  • Created new production and rehersal spaces and upgrade of performance support spaces to expand resident companies' capabilities
  • Restored existing historic features throughout the facility including Springer Auditorioum walls, balconies, ceiling, and Main Lobby
  • Restored and upgraded existing Ballroom

Assignment: Construction Manager

Architect: Perfido Wagstaff Weiskopf & Goettel / Martinez + Johnson

Structural Engineer: THP, Ltd.

Mechanical Engineer: Pennoni Associates

Theatre Planner: Schuler Shook