$2B redevelopment of Times Square’s Palace Theater gets new renderings

Posted On Thu, August 24, 2017 By

Posted On Thu, August 24, 2017 By In Architecture, Midtown, New Developments

Rendering of the Palace Theatre entrance via Maefield Development

Two years since the plan’s approval by the LPC, the redevelopment of the historic Palace Theatre at 1568 Broadway is nearly ready to take off. The theater will be raised 29 feet above its current level, making room for 70,000 square feet of new retail and entertainment space. With help earlier this month from L&L Holding Company, who became an equity and development partner, the ambitious project continues to progress; as CityRealty discovered, new renderings show the theater enveloped by an expanded Doubletree Guest Suites hotel, a new glass facade, and a sweeping LED screen at its podium. And though the gilded Beaux-Arts interiors will be preserved (they’re interior landmarks), some preservationists have expressed concerns that moving the actual structure is a bit too aggressive.

1568 Broadway, Palace Theatre, Times Square

1568 Broadway, Palace Theatre, Times Square
DoubleTree Suites Hotel will get a new glassy facade (L); the existing facade (R). via Maefield Development

1568 Broadway, Palace Theatre, Times Square
1568 Broadway via Maefield Development

The Times Square theater served as the country’s biggest vaudeville venue from 1913 to about 1929. Palace Theatre was originally designed by Milwaukee-based architects Kirchoff & Rose, who created a baroque, Beaux-Arts style with gilding and ornamental plasterwork. In the late 1980s, construction began on the hotel, adding many billboards on the outside. Developed by L&L Holding Company, Fortress, and Maefield Development, in conjunction with the theater’s owner, Nederlander Organization, the plan calls for the hotel to double in size, from 395 rooms to 745.

Approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2015, the project will be designed by Platt Byard Dovell White Architects (PBDW) and Mancini Duffy. In addition to raising the theater, the interior’s historic paintings, plaster balcony fascia, and chandelier will be restored. Plus, new sets of stairs and escalators will be built to bring visitors from the street level to the theater lobby. A new exterior entrance and 80-foot-long marquee on 47th Street will also be constructed.

1568 Broadway, Palace Theatre, Times Square
Rendering of the Palace Theatre entrance via Maefield Development

1568 Broadway, Palace Theatre, Times Square

The structural team that successfully moved the Empire Theater on 42nd Street in 1998 will be overseeing the Palace Theatre’s move. According to PBDW’s website, the theater will stay in a masonry box and then will be surrounded and shored by a protective crate. Beneath it, telescoping jacks will be installed to lift it in two-inch increments. When completed, there will be 107,000 square feet of retail, entertainment, food & beverage and a performance stage that opens onto Times Square.

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Neighborhoods : Midtown,Times Square

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