Eskew+Dumez+Ripple

Orpheum Theatre Restoration

The Orpheum Theater was designed by G. Albert Lansburgh and built in 1918. Opened to the public in 1921, the Beaux Arts style building is an example of “vertical hall” construction designed to provide perfect sight lines and acoustics for vaudeville shows which lacked the modern convenience of AV technology and lighting. 

As with many great theaters, the Orpheum eventually fell out of favor and by the early 1980s the building was facing demolition before being acquired by the New Orleans Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. The group occupied the space until 2005 when extensive flooding due to Hurricane Katrina shuttered the building indefinitely. 

In 2014, the building was sold and Eskew+Dumez+Ripple was hired to breathe new life into the building and restore its grandeur for a new generation of music enthusiasts and performers. Now a permanent home for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), this project follows an ongoing trend dedicated to restoring these venues throughout the city. Moreover, the updated facilities provide extensive flexibility—an adjustable, cantilevered floor and removable seats—to accommodate a range of possible configurations and uses. The updated facility also includes new suites with a private bar in the highest seating section and a newly restored entryway, among other improvements. Existing plaster walls, ceiling and decorations were preserved and restored to original colors. The previously unused basement has been renovated into 15,000 square feet of new space that includes a private party space with a kitchen and offices for the LPO and the Tipitina’s Foundation. 

Location: New Orleans, LA Map This Location
Size: 54,000 square feet
Year of Completion: 2015
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