Amid a five-year, $50 million renovation project, Newark Symphony Hall revealed the designs for a new facade and streetscape on May 5.
The designs, produced by Trenton-based architectural firm Clarke Caton Hintz, include a new marquee and other upgrades intended to improve the institution’s Broad Street location. The project is scheduled to be completed in time for NSH’s 100th anniversary in 2025.
“With the help of historic preservation experts Clarke Caton Hintz and our wider project team, we’ll be revitalizing our corner of Broad Street while modernizing – and paying tribute to – our historic venue, an anchor institution for the city,” said Taneshia Nash Laird, president and CEO of Newark Symphony Hall, in a statement.
The exterior renovations include in-ground LED lighting to illuminate the facade and teardrop-shaped light fixtures on the front of the building. The look of the new marquee will recall the design of the one that graced the building in the 1960s and 1970s. Light will shine through a translucent dome onto the building’s columns and the face will feature LED bulbs spelling out Newark Symphony Hall. In addition, the project will create an “NSH Plaza” on Broad Street that will provide a crosswalk for pedestrians.
“Our partnership with Taneshia and the folks at Newark Symphony Hall has been wonderful, and we very much appreciate the opportunity to breathe new life into such hallowed ground,” said John Hatch, principal with CCH. “Our idea behind the entry canopy/dome is to think of it as a delicate yet bold structure, a kind of beacon that lights up the entire entry sequence and invites everyone to come in. The dome’s curved glass and chevron shape, along with the creative streetscape, make the hall a gathering agent and, surely, one of the city’s most unique and historic attractions.”
NSH officials expect the project to be paid for by donors, historic tax credits and other government programs. In November 2020, the Newark Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission is overseeing renovations through a $750,000 Historic Trust Grant. The project should create 50o jobs and engage 50 local small businesses.
“The unveiling of our design is just one step toward reaching our final mark in 2025,” Nash Laird said. “Through immense determination and collaboration at the city, state and federal levels, we know that this will be a monumental project and one that will spur job growth and engagement, particularly for BIPOC artists and individuals in our great city and across the Tri-State Area.”
The plans also call for improvements on as much as 50,000 square feet of interior space to benefit tenants beyond the Newark Performing Arts Corp., a nonprofit that runs NSH. The hall is owned by the City of Newark.