Carpenter Center Closes for Two-Year Renovation Project
RICHMOND, VA — The John Eberson-designed Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in 1928 as the Loew’s Richmond Theatre, is closing for about two years while it is renovated and modernized to include a new larger stagehouse to accomodate Broadway musicals and an expanded lobby space.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the $25 million project will begin in January or February and events usually hosted by the Carpenter Center will be held at the Landmark Theater, which will be renovated itself at a later date as part of the downtown arts center’s second-phase.
The Carpenter Center, as the Loew’s Richmond, closed as a movie house in 1979, and was reopened as a performing arts center in 1983, thanks to a $1.5 million gift by the Carpenter Foundation.
is there a preservation architect on this job already and if so who is it please? Also, if not, then how would I find out about the job and the hiring process? thank you.
Hopefully, the renovation will be a little bit more sensitive than the ‘83 fix-up job. About the best that I can say for that is “at least it didn’t end up as a parking lot.” The Brenograph Juniors that projected the clouds were moved to allow for racks of lighting, so the clouds ran in panicked circles over the organ chambers rather than drifting lazily across the “sky.” The colors were more or less right, but too brightly lit, just looked garish. When I once complained about the overdone lighting, I was told by a pompous factotum of the Carpenter Center that I was obnoxious.
This said, the Loew’s (it was never really called “Loew’s Richmond”) is one of my favorite theatres. I’m thankful to the Carpenter Foundation for having made its preservation possible—but I do hope that this renovation does more to restore, and doesn’t do anything to destroy.