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SLSO Launches Music for All Campaign to Support Transformational Expansion and Renovation of Powell Hall

The transformational expansion and renovation of Powell Hall—the St. Louis Symphony’s Orchestra’s historic Grand Center home—is well under way. Striving to create a vibrant center for music and the arts in the region, the expansion and renovation will make Powell Hall—listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2001—more functional and enjoyable for generations to come. With ground broken in March 2023, the project is approaching the halfway point to completion, with expected reopening in September 2025.

 

In support of this once-in-a-generation project, the institution has launched Music for All: The Campaign for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, a milestone capital campaign in the orchestra’s 144-year history.


Powell Hall
A rendering of Powell Hall's new lobby looking east from Grandel Square.

 

With a goal of $155 million, the campaign will support the renovation and expansion of Powell Hall, creating a state-of-the-art music center and a new architectural landmark for St. Louis. The new music center will be a creative hub that helps build connections through the power of music, provides greater access, and creates an even more welcoming and comfortable experience for all.

 

Campaign support will fund all construction and project costs, as well as add to the SLSO’s endowment to support operations and programs in the expanded facility. Lead investors and generous benefactors have already committed gifts and pledges of more than $145 million in the campaign’s silent phase.

 

“From the Arch Park to Forest Park and throughout the region, St. Louisans are shaping a bright future for our community. The SLSO is excited to be a vital part of this wonderful story, and I could not be more grateful to our generous donors and friends who are bringing this project to life,” said SLSO President and CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard.

 

The SLSO is now reaching out to the community to raise the remaining $10 million needed to reach the goal of completing this legacy project that will set the stage for great musical experiences for generations to come. Gifts of all sizes are welcome.

 Learn more and make your gift here.

Renovation: Preserving and Enhancing a Beloved Concert Hall

All the details that our community loves about Powell Hall—the chandeliers, the architectural splendor, and the world-class acoustics—will be preserved. The interiors will remain, but the inside of the auditorium will be improved with new flooring and seats, better views, and more legroom. The 2,150 seats will be larger and deeper and will include additional ADA-accessible seats throughout the hall. Enhanced ADA access also will include a new cross-auditorium aisle, a softer slope in the balcony, and additional railings, all providing easier mobility for patrons.

 

The renovation project will include new electrical, lighting, and mechanical systems, a necessary investment in a 99-year-old facility. Protecting and enhancing the world-renowned acoustics of Powell Hall has also been a top priority of the project. Kirkegaard, a design firm that specializes in architectural acoustics, was hired for their expertise in this area. Long before the first shovel overturned dirt on the project,

 

Expansion: Creating New Spaces for Powerful Experiences

The 65,000-square-foot expansion includes a new lobby with enhanced visitor services and amenities, an Education and Learning Center, and a backstage wing that will enable our artistic collaborations to flourish with twelve practice rooms, a music library, lounge, media suite, and dressing rooms to support the more than 400 artists in the orchestra, the Youth Orchestra, the Symphony Chorus, the IN UNISON Chorus as well as the guest artists, conductors, and composers who travel from around the world to create exceptional music with the SLSO.

 

The project will provide four distinct entrances as well as additional restrooms, concessions, and elevators. New and improved amenities will include a café with retail space, an adjacent terrace, and a Leadership Circle Lounge. Additionally, there will be a new viewing space for late attendees, families with young children, and patrons with sensory sensitivities.

 

The 3,660-square-foot Education and Learning Center will serve as a new space for the SLSO’s wide array of education and learning programs. The Center will also house rehearsal and performance space for the Youth Orchestra and choruses as well as spaces for lectures, readings, chamber activities, immersive performances, and community gatherings.

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