Theater Was Structurally Altered and Fitted with New Electrical Infrastructure

Little Theatre

Dating back to the 1920's, Little Theatre served for decades to bring powerful dramas to the stage for local theater-goers.

Dating back to the 1920’s, Little Theatre served for decades to bring powerful dramas to the stage for local theater-goers.

Dating back to the 1920’s, Little Theatre served for decades to bring powerful dramas to the stage for local theater-goers. Later, the modest structure was converted to a cinema, and eventually closed its doors.

Current owner Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES) began operating the space in the late 1980’s as a performing arts magnet high school as well as a theater space for local and traveling companies to rent. But the lack of sufficient space and antiquated technology hampered the efforts of both the school and performing groups.

Architecture, art and advisory firm Svigals + Partners were selected to design a major renovation with crucial historic preservation components. (The site received landmark designation in 1984.)

Architecture, art and advisory firm Svigals + Partners were selected to design a major renovation with crucial historic preservation components.

Architecture, art and advisory firm Svigals + Partners were selected to design a major renovation with crucial historic preservation components.


“The theater required additional support spaces and modern infrastructure, and had to function more appropriately for the school,” notes Julia McFadden, AIA, an associate principal with Svigals + Partners. “And though the structure was not architecturally significant, its importance to New Haven and the city’s arts community required that the renovation include preservation as a guideline.”

The project scope included:

  • Tearing down an older addition to build a new one (adding 2,000 square feet).
  • Replacing existing foundation walls one section at a time to maintain the structure’s stability.
  • Retaining the 16-inch-thick steel-reinforced concrete walls and steel truss roof with timber decking.
  • Refurbishing the exterior with careful attention to details like color and awning styles.

Little Theatre has been gutted and fitted with entirely new electrical infrastructure and considerable structural alterations.

Little Theatre has been gutted and fitted with entirely new electrical infrastructure and considerable structural alterations.

Inside, Little Theatre has been gutted and fitted with entirely new electrical infrastructure and considerable structural alterations. The design team also replaced the original sloping audience floor with a partial basement, allowing for the installation of a spring-loaded mechanical floor. In the “down” position, the floor is at the correct height for audience seating for performances. Positioned “up” when school is in session, the floor is level and flush with the stage, making a large continuous surface ideal for acting and dance classes.

Be the first to comment on "Theater Was Structurally Altered and Fitted with New Electrical Infrastructure"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*


%d bloggers like this: