The Arts Partnership — a cooperative venture among the Minnesota Opera, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, the Schubert Club, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra — has raised the final beam on the new 1,100-seat concert hall being built to replace the 300-seat McKnight Theater. The new hall is designed for concerts by orchestras and other ensembles, whereas the Ordway's Music Theater (1,900 seats) is most suitable for opera and theatrical presentations.
In keeping with the catchy "Music Theater" moniker, the new performance space will be named the "Concert Hall" — with a plaque at the entrance honoring donors John and Ruth Huss. Other surrounding spaces will bear the names of corporations that have supported the project: there will be 3M Plaza (the first floor and outdoor areas of the Ordway), Target Atrium (the second floor), the Securian Balcony Lobby (the existing third-floor lobby area), and the Securian Sky Lobby (a new third-floor lobby area outside the new venue).
The Arts Partnership also shared renderings showing what the exterior and interior of the new Concert Hall will look like. The seats visible behind the stage will function as a choir loft for choral performances, and will be used for public seating at other performances. The building's exterior will maintain the draped-glass facade in original architect Benjamin Thompson's acclaimed design. The new hall is scheduled to open in February 2015.
I'll never set foot in there. The people who paid for this suffer from edifice complex. They love a beautiful new building and will pay huge amounts for that. They are the same ones who demanded the musicians take huge pay cuts and settle or else they would withdraw their money and kill the orchestra. After which settlement half the orchestra left. Now they are playing with newbies and subs. However, they will have a lovely new concert hall. Well played donors, well played.
I'm just waiting for the day when the SPCO, which Bruce Coppock has declared is no longer an actual "orchestra", is merged with the Schubert Club and renamed "The Bruce Coppock Chamber Music Society of Ordway Center". By then it will be comprised of half a dozen golden boys and girls and a bunch of kids fresh out of Julliard.
I think you're hating on the wrong building, Music Lover. The whole musician lockout/walkout was in Mpls. at Orchestra Hall, not Ordway. Don't think you can lump both structures and their builders/patrons together.