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Quick Facts & FAQs

QUICK FACTS

The Huntington has long been an anchor cultural institution of Huntington Avenue, the Avenue of the Arts. Now that our permanent location on Huntington Avenue is secure, we are renovating our historic theatre and plan for a future expansion. We aim to enliven this stretch of Huntington Avenue on a year-round basis, contributing to the revitalization of the neighborhood in much the same way that The Huntington Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts did in the South End in 2004.

FAQS

What will this development project mean for the neighborhood and the community?

The Huntington Avenue development project will allow The Huntington to remain in its storied home of nearly 40 years and continue to serve the greater Boston community for generations to come. The Huntington is grateful to the commercial developers QMG Huntington LLC, now partnering with Toll Brothers, for gifting this historic theatre and providing a two-story space in the new development, and to Former Mayor Walsh and his team for helping facilitate this arrangement.

The Huntington serves over 200,000 people in the city of Boston each season on Huntington Avenue and at the Calderwood Pavilion, and will expand its programming and its services to the Boston community in a newly renovated theatre (Phase I) with larger spaces open to the public (Phase II). When it built the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, The Huntington helped to reinvigorate the South End and created a home that serves many smaller and mid-sized performing arts groups. The Huntington is poised to enliven this block of Huntington Avenue and serve the community in the same manner.

Who will the project serve?

The scale of our ambition extends well beyond our audience of theatre lovers to all those who want to see Boston thrive creatively through the arts, business, education, and nonprofit sectors. The restored and expanded Huntington will take the theatre to the next level in serving our audiences, artists, students, and community with world-class productions and programming. The renovation will allow us to increase our offerings and attract more visitors to the Avenue of the Arts, contributing to the economic and cultural growth of the neighborhood, as with the Calderwood Pavilion in the South End.

What will the new development project include?

Phase I focuses on restoring and updating the historic architecture of The Huntington Theatre, a nearly century-old venue urgently in need of care. Improvements include new seating with expanded leg room, better sight lines and acoustics; integrating modern amenities for audience comfort; and increasing accessibility throughout the venue. We will also create new community convening spaces and update backstage to incorporate contemporary theatrical technology.

In Phase II, The Huntington will expand into a portion of the first two floors of an adjacent new residential apartment building developed by QMG Huntington LLC/Toll Brothers. This 14,000 square feet of space will include a fully accessible new grand entrance, Box Office and Patron Amenities Services, and a café open to the public, all visible from the street. The second floor includes an expansive sleek, modern lobby, and Boston’s Living Room that converts to an intimate performance and event venue with an exterior balcony overlooking Huntington Avenue.

How will the building be updated to improve efficiency?

The proposed design reduces current energy use to 70%. In addition, 80% of that energy will come from renewable sources driven by a Clean Power Grid. The remaining 20% is designed to be replaced when the technology is available. New plumbing fixtures will reduce potable water consumption by 30%.

How will Healthy Buildings initiatives be incorporated?

The design includes improves air circulation and flow, provides the ability to social distance, and implements low touch and no-touch hardware wherever possible. The new air filtration system allows for constant, measured amounts of outdoor air and the ability to increase ventilation rates on-demand by 30%. All air will be filtered by MERV-13 or higher filters to remove respiratory aerosols. The selection of fabrics and materials focused on non-toxic and low volatile organic compounds (VOC).

How will The Huntington Theatre change?

The Huntington has engaged Bruner/Cott & Associates to design the renovation and expansion of The Huntington Theatre. Known for award-winning designs for seminal projects such as MASS MoCA and the Boston University School of Law, Bruner/Cott has a reputation for thoughtful design that celebrates the heritage and craftsmanship of the past while optimizing resources for sustainable futures.

Audience members especially will appreciate new comfortable seats, brighter interior lighting, and yes, plenty of brand-new restrooms! The New Huntington project will redesign the theatre’s infrastructure to modernize the theatrical and mechanical systems, create new expanded lobbies, and restore the historical façade of the exterior. The renovated theatre will be fully accessible and ADA compliant and will contain improved amenities for artists, audiences, and the community.

How will the development project affect the theatre’s accessibility? Will the completed project be fully accessible?

Utilizing Universal Design, The Huntington Theatre complex will be fully accessible. The renovated theatre will be code-compliant with ADA access and will include an elevator that reaches all floors. The building will have minimal elevation changes and all stairways, restrooms, and door clearances will be compliant. Seating configurations in the theatre and traffic circulation in the lobby, orchestra, and mezzanine will all be updated per code requirements and be fully accessible to all patrons.

How will The New Huntington renovation impact programming?

The renovation of the theatre will allow The Huntington to expand the number of performances we create, the audience members and young people we serve, and the scope of our artistic ambitions. The Huntington will also provide space to outside arts organizations throughout the year, as it does with the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. We will announce plans for producing at the Calderwood and other locations during the time the building is under renovation.

What will happen to the building next door to the theatre that houses the dressing rooms, costume shop, and the Studio 210 theatre space?
The west wing, located adjacent to the theatre, will be renovated to better accommodate our dressing rooms, green room, rehearsal hall, and costume, sound, and electrical shops.

What happened to the scene, paint, and prop shops in The Huntington’s production department that were located at 252-258 Huntington Avenue, next door to the theatre?


Our scene, paint, and prop shops have relocated from Huntington Avenue to the new Huntington Production Center in Everett, completed in 2017. The new facility features open and flexible work areas and onsite storage, allowing The Huntington staff to produce more complex design work in a more efficient workspace and to build upon The Huntington’s community mission by expanding production services to other arts organizations and companies.

What happens next in the process? 

The renovation process is underway! We are preparing historic features for restoration and readying the building for the full-scale construction project. The timeline is anticipated to be 18 months and The Huntington Theatre is expected to reopen in the fall of 2022.

Where does the Campaign stand?

The Campaign for The New Huntington: A Storied Venue with a Bold Vision has made significant progress, having already raised over $90.9 million towards a comprehensive goal of $110 million which includes funds for capital, renovation, and expansion, annual fund giving for the duration of the campaign, and funds to increase the theatre’s endowment and reserves. The $110 million campaign includes $55 million for the anticipated costs of construction for Phase I and $9 million for Phase II.

Who are our partners in the project?

Bruner Cott Architects
Shawmut Design and Construction
Leggat McCall Properties
Century Bank
NTCIC
East West Bank
Affirmative Investments Inc.
MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC
Klein Hornig LLP
Locke Lord LLP
Zions Bank Public Finance


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