Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Saving our Shell FAQ, Part 2: The Renovation

Part 1: The History of the FLPM
Part 2: The Renovation
Part 3: Programming the Shell

GoM: What kind of physical changes do you have planned for the Shell? The
articles last week mentioned the replacement of the wings and removal of the benches.

BL: At present you have identified most of the physical changes planned. We will bring the facility back to the original 1936 footprint size for the most part. We will remove the metal wings, reduce the depth of the stage which will remove approximately 10 ft from the front which now covers the original orchestra pit, remove the bench seating and renovate the backstage areas.
a visualization of the Levitt Shell at Overton ParkWe will replace the current metal wing buildings with much smaller wings that will house the sound and lighting for the facility and allow for theatrical performances.

GoM: Do you have any other physical changes planned?

BL: In addition, we will create lawn seating where the benches are located complete with an irrigation system to insure lush lawn covering for seating and enjoyment, construct a fence on both sides of the stage utilizing the existing wooden bench seating as the primary construction material, and construct a sound barrier fence between the Levitt Shell and the Memphis College of Art utilizing the current concrete bench stanchions as the primary construction material.

We will utilize as much of the existing materials as possible in the renovation in order to be ecologically responsible. In addition we will use sustainable new materials where possible. We want this to be a "green demonstration site" where possible. We will install some seating (approximately 200-400 seats) for handicap, elderly or others who might not want to participate in lawn seating. In addition walkways will be added for easy access to seating areas. Initially, concession areas will not be built into the facility.

We will renovate the existing bathroom facilities adjacent to the stage and along the western border of the facility. Also, the backstage areas will be renovated with performance venue considerations the primary focus but also with facility rentals for other purposes in mind. All renovations will be ADA compliant. We have hired Askew Nixon Ferguson as our architects.

GoM: Is all the seating being removed?

BL: All the existing seating will be removed. We will replace some of the seating which will be on ergonomically more comfortable seating than the bench seating. This seating, which will total 200 to 400 seats, will be placed near the stage and up near the Brooks Museum entrance to the Levitt Shell.

GoM: How will you deal with events that occur after rains and saturated ground?

BL: We have discussed events that will occur after ground saturation. We anticipate that the drainage design will be for the maximum drainage in order for the ground to dry quickly. Having said that, there will be times when the ground will not be completely dry and possibly saturated with moisture.

Currently it is our best guess that we will move concerts indoors if absolutely necessary. These alternate indoor locations are being identified now. Suggestions are welcome.

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Anonymous denise parkinson said...

Hooray for the wonderful Barry Lichterman, and David Leonard and all the folks working so hard to preserve this treasure!

Thanks go out to these guys too for coming to our little art show at Monty Shane Gallery where Those Darlin's ROCKED (clog-dancing all the while) and it was another Midtown-magical memory-night.

Can't wait to see the moon rise over the Shell again while music floats around.

8:31 PM  

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