ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

Renovating Abravanel Hall “makes more sense,” petition organizer says

May 21, 2024, 11:45 AM | Updated: 11:53 am

An aerial shot shows Maurice Abravanel Hall in Downtown Salt Lake City....

Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. Jazz owner Ryan Smith and city and county leaders want to redevelop to create a new shopping, residential and entertainment district that will connect City Creek Mall with the Delta Center. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A petition to save Abravanel Hall from demolition has gained 35,000 signatures. 

Jack Clark, the organizer of the petition, said that leaving Abravanel Hall standing and renovating it “makes more fiscal sense.” 

A Salt Lake County report estimated the cost of renovations to be between $199 and $200 million. However, Clark said that building a brand new concert hall could cost even more. 

AECOM, an infrastructure consulting firm, said that concert halls are notoriously difficult to build.

Related: Mayor trying to keep Abravanel Hall “in its present form”

When creating the interior performing space, designers must pay special attention to acoustic detail. The goal is to give audience members the best listening experience possible.

Construction of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles cost $274 million to build, per the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s website. Home to the L.A. Philharmonic, the performance center opened in 2003. 

Adjusted for inflation, $274 million in 2003 is equivalent to just over $464 million today.

What does Abravanel Hall need? 

The Salt Lake County Master Planning Document, obtained by KSL TV, includes a list of improvements needed. Areas throughout the building need upgrades. 

The building’s HVAC system needs updating. Parts of it need to be disconnected from The Salt Palace, per the report. 

Secondly, the building needs to be brought up to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. New elevators also need to be added, the report said. 

The document also listed additional, less pressing needs. It said that Abravanel Hall needs upgraded production equipment such as projectors, video equipment, and sound equipment.

Find a full list of the upgrades within the Master Planning Document.

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Renovating Abravanel Hall “makes more sense,” petition organizer says