Boettcher Concert Hall

Boettcher Concert Hall & Denver Performing Arts Complex Re-imagination Project

The City and County of Denver is in the process of determining the highest and best use of limited funding available for renovations to Boettcher Concert Hall. The city believes this to be an exciting opportunity to re-imagine an important part of the Denver Performing Arts Complex and provide a useful, dynamic and accessible public cultural asset.

As with any city-owned venue, the process for determining future uses of Boettcher will be driven by Denver Arts & Venues with ample time for input from the public and a number of stakeholder groups. Arts & Venues will direct continued thoughtful, measured study of options for Boettcher, and of what is in the collective best interest of the arts complex and surrounding neighborhood, and its various patrons, resident companies and presenters.

More than a Venue

As a promoter and supporter of arts and culture in Denver, and as the caretaker of the entire arts complex, the city is taking a holistic approach to its examination of Boettcher. The conversation is about much more than one venue; it’s about attracting people to the arts complex, integrating it into the neighborhood, enhancing the Galleria and Sculpture Park, and inviting the kind of activity and energy that a world-class downtown arts complex deserves.

A re-imagining of what Boettcher could and should be is just one element of a much-needed refreshed vision for the entire complex. To that end, the city will continue to study ways to improve the patron experience, update the programming to appeal to a broader audience, and open itself to the surrounding neighborhood.

Funding
In 2007 Denver voters approved $60 million in bond funding to support the renovation of Boettcher. The funding required a minimum $30 million match to be raised by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. The CSO failed to meet this requirement and requested the Boettcher project be canceled. In 2012 much of the $60 million was redistributed by a committee of the Mayor’s Office to other cultural institutions in which the city has an ownership interest, such as the art museum, zoo, botanic gardens, and nature and science museum.

As a result, the total funding for the concert hall renovation was reduced to $16.8 million. Required maintenance of the hall’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure would consume approximately two-thirds of that money. With minimal budget remaining, publicly visible improvements to the aging hall would be limited to the lobby, restrooms, and food and beverage service areas. That, combined with the potential loss of the CSO as a permanent tenant, has led the city to change the focus from renovating the hall to a broader analysis of the highest and best use of available funds and the site itself.

In its current state, Boettcher is too big for the symphony, too similar in size to its neighboring venues in the complex (Buell Theatre and Ellie Caulkins Opera House) and functionally very limited in the kind of performances it can host. The available funding will not be sufficient to change any of those factors.

Input & Feedback
No decisions have been made about the future of Boettcher and the arts complex and the city looks forward to facilitating a robust public conversation and examination of available options.
The city will design a structured process for getting input – from meetings and data gathering from stakeholders, public- and private-sector leaders, patrons and the general public – that will span several months and be used in 2015 to inform an area plan for the entire arts complex.
The initial components of the process are:

  • Arts & Venues has retained CRL Associates to assist in stakeholder outreach and public process design, including utilization of innovative ways to communicate with the public.
  • A mayoral-appointed Executive Leadership Team will be convened to achieve the directive put forward by Mayor Michael B. Hancock: to be bold, visionary and act as stewards of this most treasured city cultural asset.
    • The committee will be comprised of nonprofit-, public- and private-sector stakeholders and opinion leaders and will be responsible for using public input and other due diligence to make recommendations to the Mayor’s Office and oversee the arts complex area plan.
    • The committee will be appointed by Oct. 1.


Links
-   
City of Denver team will plot future of Boettcher Concert Hall
-    Rinaldi: Deconstructing Boettcher Concert Hall
-    Between Bach and a hard place on Boettcher, CSO
-    Denver's arts complex wants more customers, proposing big changes

Boettcher Concert Hall is the nation’s first symphony hall in the round designed to place the audience close to the stage in a unique environment – 80% of the seats are within 65 feet of the stage. Boettcher Concert Hall’s walls are canted at a slight angle to disperse sound and prevent flutter echoes. On each curved surface of the hall is a wave-like band, approximately four feet high, technically called an undulating acoustical facia. These facias diffuse, reflect and channel sound throughout the venue. The seats in Boettcher are custom-designed, made from steam-bent plywood with their backs varying in height from 42 inches to 48 inches.

Seating Chart

Seating capacity: 2,679

For booking information or for a venue guide, contact Elizabeth Miller at 720-865-4239 or elizabeth.miller@denvergov.org


  

Boettcher Concert Hall








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    October, 2014
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