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Newcastle Limited Begins Final Phase of $13,000,000 Auditorium Theatre Historic Renovation

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April 10, 2002
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CHICAGO — The curtain is going up on the final phase of the two-phase, two-year, $13,000,000 renovation of the historic 113-year-old Auditorium Theatre beginning May 1, announced Michael R. Haney, President of Chicago-based Newcastle Limited, which is providing development management services for the renovation on behalf of the Auditorium Theatre Council. Newcastle is a national real estate advisory and development firm for corporations, investors, not-for-profit organizations and governmental agencies.“This is a real logistics challenge,” said Haney.

“There is a tremendous amount of work to be done in a relatively short period of time. But we have the team in place that can do it.” Phase Two of the renovation, which includes an extensive overhaul of the theater’s “back of house” areas, is scheduled to be completed by September 25. The theater will reopen on October 16 to kick off the Joffrey Ballet’s 2002 fall season.The final phase of this multi-year renovation will include the demolition of the existing stage; construction of a new stage and trap; construction of a new orchestra pit with associated lift equipment, including movable seating and storage areas; selective demolition beneath the stage and seating areas; installation of basic mechanical, plumbing and electrical infrastructure beneath the stage and seating areas to allow for future expansion; installation of new electric supply to serve existing and future theater expansions; improvements to existing dressing rooms; creation of new wardrobe and laundry rooms in the basement; and renovation painting of the top of the historic stage reducer curtain.The Auditorium Building was completed in 1889 and is considered the crowing achievement of famed architects, Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, and their young apprentice, Frank Lloyd Wright. The building’s Auditorium Theatre was immediately acclaimed as on of the most beautiful and functional theaters in the world. The first home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1891-1904), the theatre has hosted countless national political conventions, rock concerts, ballet performances and Broadway shows. In 1970, the Auditorium Building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, then obtained National Historic Landmark status in 1975, and was designated a Chicago landmark in 1976.In 2000, the State of Illinois’ Department of Commerce and Community Affairs awarded $13,000,000 to the Auditorium Theatre Council for its continuing renovation initiatives, and Phase One of the current renovation project was launched.

“The first phase, completed last summer on time and on budget, included the extensive renovation of the original painting, mosaics and murals; an improved lobby; and the installation of new carpeting,” said Haney. “When the final phase of this renovation program is completed, it will be a significant step in restoring the theater back to its original glory,” he said.Other technical firms and organization involved in the Phase Two project team include Daniel P. Coffey & Associates, project architect; McClier, historical architecture consultant; Cameron, Mackintosh Consultants, Ltd., theater consultant; W.E. O’Neil Construction Company, general contractor; Environmental Systems Design Inc., plumbing, electrical and mechanical engineer; Halvorson & Kaye Structural Engineers, structural engineer; Don Belford Associates, consulting structural engineer; Kirkegaard Associates, Inc., acoustical consultant’ Renovation of Interiors, renovation painting consultants; EverGreene Painting Studios, Inc., renovation painting contractor; the City of Chicago Commission on Landmarks; the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency; and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs.

About Newcastle Limited

Newcastle Limited is a Chicago-based national commercial real estate firm serving governmental agencies, institutions, not-for-profit organizations, corporations and private investors. The firm’s strategic advisory, development and investment services are designed to reduce project risk and maximize asset value. To learn more about Newcastle, call Mike Haney at (312) 683-3113 or visit the company website at www.newcastlelimited.com.