$135 million renovation to Music Hall taking shape, to be completed in October

$135 million renovation to Music Hall taking shape, to be completed in October (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The $135 million renovation of Music Hall is a little ahead of schedule.

The old concert hall and theatre reopens in the fall, and they want the finished product to be a bit of surprise.

So on Wednesday, they gave their last tour of the project.

There was a small army of electricians, painters and assorted craftsmen and women performing in music hall. Their “show” opens October 6th and they will be ready.

“My understanding is we are actually a little ahead of schedule,” said Chris Pinelo of the Cincinnati Symphony Ochestra.

Pinelo and 3CDC Vice President Jeff Martin gave a final hard-hat tour on Wednesday afternoon.

Without changing the exterior, they have added 31,000 square feet of usable, behind-the-scenes space to the old building.

Revitalizing dead space buried under dropped ceilings, capturing new space like the musician's lounge that used to be a parking area and still has the signs… There are lots of new windows where bricks used to be.

There is more light, more space, and new life in an old body.

“The entire building has been restructured and rebuilt. It will look and feel the same but everything behind the walls is totally redone and upgraded. All new,” said Jeff Martin of 3CDC.

The familiar public spaces have a new color theme with taupe replacing the old burgundy.

The three chandeliers that used to grace the main entry are gone and there are 50% more bathrooms.

“They were beautiful chandeliers, but the designers felt they obstructed the beautiful architecture that also existed in the building. Those are still going to be in music hall, though. There three perfect spots in Corbett Tower,” said Martin.

The dowdy old event hall is now a light-filled space with a soaring ceiling, 14-feet taller than before.

The original ceiling stencils, hidden for generations, have been revealed and restored.

The big chandelier in the auditorium is back. They were busy installing it Wednesday and hope to light it Thursday.

It was shipped off, rewired and all 14,000 pieces of crystal polished up.

The new one can be turned on, off and dimmed by a smart phone.

Sitting on the floor, you get an idea just how big it is.

Auditorium seats will be bigger and deeper red than the old ones.

The stage has new gadgetry and easier access. Experts have worked hard to retain the acoustics.

All in all, the 140-year-old hall has new life and a great shot to live until she's 200.

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will reopen Music Hall with a performance on October 6th.

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