Home to two of the region's premiere performing arts organizations, The Repertory Theater and The Opera Theater of St Louis, the 36,000SF addition to the Loretto-Hilton has been applauded by donors, users, and the professional team that pulled it all together. Completed in 2001 at a cost of $6 million, the expansion increased the size of the tri-level theater from 58,000SF to 94,000SF.
The design objective for the Loretto-Hilton Theater addition was to seamlessly add space to the existing building's back-stage areas, including dressing rooms, scene shop and prop rooms, and to renovate 10,000SF of existing space. The solution was to wrap a three story addition around the back of the building, thus engaging critical floor links on all three levels. The program required the new dance studio to mirror the dimensions and proportions of the existing stage.
The addition of the dance studio has been a game changer for the dance program at Webster University. The translucent glass curtain wall enlivens the façade and floods the ballet studio with natural light and for the first time in the programs history, dancers can practice in a rehearsal studio equal in size to the performance stage. When originally built in 1963, the Loretto Hilton Theater was intended to be used only be Webster University. Today, its immense popularity has made it the busiest performing arts center in a 9-state region.
Passion + Perspective
We are storytellers - and the story of cooperation in making this building come together is impressive.
- Steven Woolf
Artistic Director, The Repertory Theater of St. Louis