Speaking of architecture right under our noses, the previously-low-profile Moorish facade of New York City Center opened up this week for a gala feting its recently-completed $57 million renovation by Ennead Architects. The Architect's Newspaper got a tour of the interiors and boy, are they shiny! Built in 1923 as a meeting house for the Ancient Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, the building was bought by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia's administration in 1943 as a theater "for the people." Times have changed, as have body measurements: Ennead's first order of business was to stagger the auditorium seating for better sightlines and replace the 17-inch seating with cushions measuring 22" wide. The most obvious spruce-up is the ceiling restoration, cleaning layers of "tobacco smoke, layers of shellac, and at least one restoration effort conducted by a high school class" to reveal the original multi-colored hues of the stenciled plasterwork.
· City Center Slicker [A/N Blog]
· New York City Center Renovations [Ennead Architects]
· Extreme Makeovers [Curbed]