This venue is considered to be an Art Deco masterpiece built in 1932 as part of the Municipal Auditorium Complex. Despite being significant as both a performing arts venue and for community development, it sat unused for nearly two decades before finally undergoing a full modernization.
Opportunity The overall goal of the adaptive reuse was to return the building to an active venue for touring Broadway theatre and other live entertainment, as well as to serve as an active community center for the city of St. Louis.
Creation The first and most important project was the renovation of the actual Opera House itself. Stage technical requirements were reviewed and updated. The back-of-house support spaces required a full renovation, and the front-of-house public facilities were increased. Two of the small side theatres, those on the east side, were returned to their original use as small performance and entertainment spaces.
At the Exhibition and Ground Levels, approximately 25,800SF was designated as office space. The space includes common areas and conferencing space, as well as about 8,000SF of community arts space, storage space for the adjacent Savvis Center; and the fully renovated Kiel Club Restaurant, including a modernized kitchen.
The historic interiors were all restored following the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. All public facilities, accessibility and fire-life safety requirements were reviewed and updated as necessary to meet all relevant building codes. Similarly, all building systems and the structural integrity of the building were analyzed and modified as needed.
Lastly the renovation also included the cleaning and repair of the exterior surfaces. All entrances were restored, accessibility was addressed, and the loading area was completely reconfigured.