Newark Symphony Hall (NSH), New Jersey’s largest Black-led arts and entertainment venue, has unveiled designs for its exterior renovation – part of a five-year, three-phase $50 million project set to wrap on the venue’s 100th birthday in 2025. The design, from Trenton, NJ-based architectural firm Clarke Caton Hintz (CCH), includes a new marquee and streetscape. Design upgrades make Broad Street – a gateway into the state’s largest city – a distinct visual marker highlighting Newark’s creativity and ingenuity.
NSH was built in 1925 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. In addition to restoring the building’s façade, the renovation will reimagine the city block – adding bike lanes, improved curbing, a central island, and transportation access.
“With the help of historic preservation experts Clarke Caton Hintz and our wider project team, we’ll be revitalizing our corner of Broad Street while modernizing – and paying tribute to – our historic venue, an anchor institution for the city,” said Taneshia Nash Laird, president and CEO of Newark Symphony Hall, and the sole Black female leader of a performing arts center in New Jersey.
CCH’s work includes historical and contemporary design influences that match the venue’s longstanding presence in the “Brick City.” Specifically, the hall’s new marquee is reminiscent of the one that stood at NSH between the 1960s-70s. The translucent dome will shine directional light onto the building’s columns – making it a “beacon” for Broad Street. The canopy face will be lit with LED bulbs and an illuminated “Newark Symphony Hall” sign.“Our partnership with Taneshia and the folks at Newark Symphony Hall has been wonderful, and we very much appreciate the opportunity to breathe new life into such hallowed ground,” said John Hatch, FAIA, principal with CCH. “Our idea behind the entry canopy/dome is to think of it as a delicate yet bold structure, a kind of beacon that lights-up the entire entry sequence and invites everyone to come in. The dome’s curved glass and chevron shape, along with the creative streetscape, make the hall a gathering agent and, surely, one of the city’s most unique and historic attractions.”