Built in 1932 as part of the Municipal Auditorium Complex and long considered an Art Deco masterpiece, the Stifel Theatre sat unused for nearly two decades before a full-scale modernization effort led by OTJ Architects returned this landmark to use as a premier performing arts venue.
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OTJ Architects embarked on an ambitious adaptive reuse effort aimed at returning this historic building to service as a sought-after venue for touring Broadway theatre and other live entertainment while doing double duty as an active community center for the city of St. Louis. The program of work, led by our team of architects and designers, was first centered on the renovation of the Opera House itself. Stage technical requirements were reviewed and updated; the back-of-house support spaces were overhauled; and the front-of-house public facilities were expanded and modernized. Two of the small side theatres, those on the east side, were returned to their original use as intimate performance and entertainment spaces.
To support the venue’s function as a community center, approximately 25,000 SF on the Exhibition and Ground Levels was designated as office space. Additional features include common areas and conferencing space, as well as about 8,000SF of community arts space, storage space for the adjacent Savvis Center, as well as the fully renovated Kiel Club Restaurant and its 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.
St. Louis, MO
Arts, Culture & Education
An ambitious adaptive reuse effort returns the Stifel Theatre to service as an active community center and sought-after venue for touring Broadway shows.