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October 14, 2021
Town Hall Seattle
ABC members: AAA Kartak Storefronts & Glazing; BrandSafway Services
Location: 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle
This historic building first opened its doors in 1916 as the Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist. Town Hall Seattle purchased the building in 1998 and converted it to an affordable performance home for the region’s small to mid-sized arts and civic organizations. Town Hall Seattle’s success has seen more people pass through the doors in its first 18 years than in the previous 84 years combined, pushing the building’s century-old infrastructure to its limit, and necessitating a complete renovation of the building.
As part of the planning for the renovation project, the team self-nominated for landmark status to keep the upgrades from altering the aesthetic of the structure.
The building is unreinforced masonry and required seismic retrofitting for stabilization against earthquakes. The project incorporated eight shotcrete shear walls, two in each corner of the structure. At 11 to 12 inches thick and extending from footings below grade to the roof, these walls combined contain 300 cubic yards of shotcrete. The new seismic system also includes 110 tons of structural steel and nine main concrete collector beams, eight of which are reinforced by a half-inch-thick, 10-to-16-inch-wide continuous steel plate. At lengths of up to 60 feet, one plate can weigh over 1,300 pounds.
Other renovation work included exterior terracotta restoration, new MEP systems, new roof, new elevator, and installation of 17 new restrooms. The Great Hall received a new acoustic reflector system, restoration of the historic oak pews and stained-glass windows, and a new stage and lighting grid with enhanced digital capabilities. Finally, the project reconfigured all performance spaces including the creation of a new one as well as a new ADA-accessible entrance to the building on the west side.