NEWARK, NJ – A $ 50 million renovation of New Jersey’s largest black-run arts and entertainment center is set to create 500 jobs and boost 50 small businesses in Newark.

Newark Symphony Hall (NSH) recently unveiled designs for its exterior renovation – part of a five-year project due to be completed in 2025 on the venue’s 100th birthday. The design for the room at 1020 Broad Street includes a new marquee and a new street scene (See renderings in the gallery above).

In addition to facelifting the building’s facade, the renovation seeks to “redesign” the city block by adding bike lanes, improved curbs, a central island, and transport links to the gateway to the state’s most populous city.

According to President and CEO Taneshia Nash Laird, the renovation will “modernize” the popular art facility while paying tribute to the history of the building, which was built in 1925 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

Symphony Hall’s legendary acts over the years have included Placido Domingo, The Rolling Stones, Amalia Rodrigues, Celia Cruz, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, and Aretha Franklin, among others.

The new marquee will be reminiscent of the 1960s and 1970s, with a translucent dome that lets LED lights shine on the pillars of the building – making it a “beacon” for Broad Street.

Other functions will be:

  • A series of LED uplights recessed into the floor, which are flushed from the sidewalk onto the facade
  • New street lamps with “teardrop” lights in front of the building
  • An “NSH Plaza” in front of the hall, which will act as a pedestrian crossing
  • A public works and public art component that features large “NSH” letters set in the sidewalk celebrating the organization’s artistic history

“Our partnership with Taneshia and the people at Newark Symphony Hall has been wonderful, and we really appreciate the opportunity to breathe new life into such sacred ground,” said John Hatch of Clarke Caton Hintz (CCH).

Located in an Opportunity Zone, the NSH expects the renovation to be funded through philanthropy, historical tax credits, and other state and federal programs.

CCH is also preparing an interior plan to accommodate building tenants outside of Newark Performing Arts Corporation, the nonprofit that runs the NSH. As part of the five-year project, NSH will also improve up to 50,000 square meters of rental space, including the reactivation of an entire floor of the hall, which has been idle for more than 30 years. The design specifications also include barrier-free restaurant areas at street level.

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