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Merriam Theater Renovation Project

Read The Full Executive Summary Here

The Kimmel Center has set out to recreate the Merriam Theater site in a way that pays homage to its history while also securing its place at the heart of an exciting performing arts campus serving people from all walks of life in the Greater Philadelphia region.  Committed to the preservation of the performance venue, the Center launched a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) from developers and other parties as part of its plan to redevelop the property. Simultaneously, the Center has retained acclaimed architect and civic planner Harris Steinberg to lead a series of public design conversations to solicit ideas from throughout the region about how best to incorporate the Merriam into the thriving Kimmel Center Cultural Campus, which includes the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and Academy of Music on South Broad Street along the Avenue of the Arts.

The Kimmel Center, which has operated the 1,761-seat Merriam Theater for eight years and formally purchased the site in December 2016, envisions the redevelopment as a centerpiece for its performing arts campus, which cumulatively represents the second-largest performing arts center in the nation, behind only New York’s Lincoln Center, and hosts 1,400 performances for more than one million people each year.  The Center’s goal is for the redevelopment – including both the theater and the air rights above it – to generate additional revenues that will fund the preservation of the historic 99-year-old theater as well as continuing to support the programming of the Center’s eight resident companies and 12 arts education programs.

The Merriam Theater is an important part of Philadelphia’s past and a vital part of the Kimmel Center’s future – engaging the Philadelphia community in helping plan the next steps for the cultural campus and the city will be imperative to creating an exciting and dynamic theater space that helps support the Kimmel Center mission! 

Public Design Conversations took place September 24-25, 2017.

For more information on the public conversations, please email Leslie Tyler, Director of Media Relations and Communications at [email protected]

For more information or to learn more about the RFEI, please contact Ross Richards, Senior Vice President, Facilities and Operations, (215) 790-5860 or [email protected]