Old Palmer Auditorium seeds an iconic new performing arts center
The Long Center is a multi-venue performance facility constructed within the frame of the old Palmer Auditorium, a public icon for the City of Austin originally built in 1959. The best assets of the old building, its stage house, mezzanines, main floor and basement form the cradle for the new 2400-seat Dell Foundation Hall and 240-seat Rollins Studio Theater.
The original dome has been removed, revealing the perimeter ring beam and a colonnade, creating The City Terrace, a new public plaza affording unobstructed views of the Downtown Skyline across Lady Bird Lake.
As a new public model of common sense sustainability, 97% of the 44 million pounds of debris removed from the original building has been reused or recycled. Original aluminum roof panels form the new cladding for Dell Hall; reused black and white marble slabs serve as counters in the new restrooms; 'space age' light fixtures from the original lobby anchor Rollins Studio Theater Lobby.
The project was bid within budget of $278 per sq ft in July 2005 and construction was completed on schedule in January 2008. It has received critical acclaim, establishing new standards for acoustic quality and theatrical capabilities in Central Texas.
Nelsen Partners, Inc. – Associate Architect
Zeidler Partnership – Architect of Record