In San Antonio, Texas; a great undertaking is wrapping up in the next 47 days when the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts will have it’s grand opening. They’ll need to be hustling up because everything below the bottom edge of this photograph is still a shambles covered with orange fencing and construction debris. The nations seventh largest city is getting the absolute state of the art in all treatments theatre.
The Majestic is still operational as is the Lila Cockrell Theatre that has recently been renovated. Of course the Arneson River Theatre along the Riverwalk provides it’s own charm but that’s pretty small and of a different venue. San Antonians voted in a 100 million dollar bond to fund just the construction. The city provided it’s Municipal Auditorium and it’s Fire Department Headquarters to the project. 54 million in private monies were raised along with a 15 million match from the Tobin Endowment which secured the name for the center and the show was underway.
Marmon Mok in association with LMN Architects elected to use the facade of the old Municipal Auditorium as the stunning entrance for the new theatre. The needs for seating have changed in what’s been almost a century since the Municipal was erected so everything else has been replaced with new construction. Articulated metal screen was chosen for the exterior of the new hall. It has embedded LED’s that will help create a powerful night time presence.
As I arrived at the construction site in the deep afternoon, the warm rays of the low sun were providing dramatic lighting on the western walls of the unfinished structure. Though incomplete at this time; I had to take advantage of the light and the juxtaposition of the old and the new to make my photograph. The patina on the original stonework and hand glazed and colored tiles of the Municipal’s facade are striking against the new metal wall panels. This is dramatic in it’s own right however coupled with the late afternoon light, the effect is magnified. To me, this speaks directly to all the different types of theatrical drama that will unfold on stages within as the next 100 years swing past!