The Music Hall Loft Moves a Step Closer

The Music Hall Loft: The Center for Performing Arts, Literature and Education gains final approval from City of Portsmouth’s Historic District Commission for work on building’s exterior Design Team Led by TMS Architects.

Significant move toward April opening

Also released: Interior Plans and Designs Include a “rotated” theater that can be adjusted for cabaret seating configuration

The City of Portsmouth’s Historic District Commission has approved plans for exterior work to be completed on The Music Hall Loft space at 131 Congress Street. The approval is for work on both the front and the back of the building (facing onto the parking lot of Vaughan Mall), including doors and windows.

Said Patricia Lynch, Executive Director of The Music Hall, “We are pleased with this final-stage approval on exterior work as it allows us to create the best space possible in this key downtown location. The Loft space will be full of light at both ends and have a positive impact on the organization and the community. This keeps us moving forward toward our April opening.”

Detailed plans and designs for the Loft, which includes a 116-seat theater adjustable to 124 seats in a cabaret configuration and backlit blue glowing panels visible from Congress Street through the glass storefront, have been also been released – see photos and captions below. Of particular note is the theater’s angle to the street, rotated to allow for a larger and more dynamic lobby.

About the Design Team
The Lead Architect – who oversaw the renovations to the historic theatre – is John Merkle of TMS Architects, with John DeStefano of DeStefano & Associates as Construction Manager. The Lead Public Space Designers are John Lynch & Jennifer Steffek of Studio J2 Architecture, an Architecture and Interior Design firm in Lincoln, MA, known for theatrical and public space design for clients such as Harvard Medical School and Kendall Square Cinema. Rounding out the design team is Diane Hart of Diane Hart Designs – who will serve as the Administrative Office Space Interior Decorator. Chair of The Music Hall’s Facilities and Restoration Committee Doug Nelson said, “With our long-standing Facilities Committee, and our restoration and renovation work with John Merkle and John DeStefano, we’re a well-oiled machine.”