Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

Arlene Schnitzer historic restoration project in Portland Oregon. Concert hall, venue, theater, stage.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Arlene Schnitzer historic restoration project in Portland Oregon. Concert hall, venue, theater, stage.
Portland, OR
Oregon Metro
Architectural Resources Group
Electrical Systems
Fire and Life Safety
Mechanical Systems
Plumbing and Piping Systems
2022 DJC TopProjects Winner in the Arts, Culture & Entertainment Category, Acoustical Enhancement Project

2022 DJC TopProjects People's Choice Award winner, Acoustical Enhancement Project

2022 Restore Oregon DeMuro Award

Constructed as the Portland Publix Theatre in 1928, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall maintains the tradition of performing arts in the epicenter of downtown’s entertainment scene. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, this cultural gem has been artfully restored over the years to preserve its Italian Rococo Revival architecture and accommodate upgrades in technology and accessibility.

Säzän Group was part of a comprehensive team of experts that lovingly worked to restore integral areas of the building.

Orchestra Shell
Due to the age of the existing orchestra shell and non-compliance with current code and safety best practices, repairs were not an option. The renovation included removing and replacing the shell, mechanical and electrical upgrades, structural modifications, and installing a complex digital sound system. With more than 350 speakers and microphones, the Meyer Sound Constellation system was installed with special care to protect the historical details of the interior structure.

The comprehensive design was completed to develop an accurate cost estimate and secure project funding. The scope included preparation of the hall for the Constellation system, the visual components of the orchestra shell, on-stage lighting, replacement proscenium fire safety curtain, and coordination with a separate installation of decorative curtains.
Initially planned in four phases to work around the theater’s performance schedule between January 2020 and June 2021, the impact of COVID provided a window of opportunity. With the venue forced to close, the design and construction teams worked without interruption and completed the project seven months ahead of schedule.

Marquee Renovation
Installed in 1928, the iconic PORTLAND marquee graces the theater entrance on SW Broadway. This visual landmark was meticulously refurbished to replicate the original design. Additional features protect the sign from weather and other environmental elements.

Audience Chamber Lighting Retrofit

Replacing the incandescent lighting in the audience chambers with LED sources introduced more energy efficiency into the classic structure. The new light source matches the historic design, and the lighting control system is integrated into the existing theatrical control system.