DENVER — The Colorado Symphony is searching for a new home, possibly outside of downtown Denver, after it and the city determined Boetcher Concert Hall no longer has a future.
Boettcher Concert Hall has been home to the symphony for decades, but both sides agree that the repairs to the aging theater are not feasible.
“While Boettcher Concert Hall has been a wonderful home for us for over 40 years, a new venue is imperative to the future growth and success of our organization," said Colorado Symphony CEO and Board Chair Jerome H. Kern in a news release. "This Memorandum of Understanding ( the agreement between the city and Symphony) allows us to partner with the City on an outcome that is beneficial to both."
The city agreed to commit the remaining $16.7 million from the general obligation bond which was voted on by the citizens of Denver in 2007 to the project.
In order to keep that money, the new symphony hall must be constructed within Denver city limits, and meet a mutually agreed upon understanding if relocated outside the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The funds must also be used by the end of September 2023.
Symphony supporters have been pushing for years for a replacement for aging Boettcher Concert Hall, built in 1978 as the first “in-the-round” concert hall in the U.S. for what was then the Denver Symphony Orchestra, the Denver Business Journal reported.
The structure was plagued from the beginning with spotty acoustics and is considered too large for today’s audiences, even one as popular as the Colorado Symphony, which has seen a surge in interest in recent years. And, coming 12 years before the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed in 1990, Boettcher has numerous ADA-related deficiencies, from inadequate restrooms for those in wheelchairs to a lack of handrails in the aisles.
According to the agreement, the symphony can seek development partners and fundraising sources for two potential tracks: one for construction of a new concert hall on existing land within the arts complex, the other for a location still within the city but not connected to the existing arts complex.
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