The Lincoln Theatre project included documenting, rehabilitating, and adding to a historic, National Register-listed, 1920s theatre that became the catalyst for the revitalization of a historic downtown neighborhood in Columbus. The building was originally a fraternity lodge and a key performance space for African-American jazz artists up through the 1960s, but was left vacant and allowed to decay for almost four decades.
The initial facility assessment project, with as-built drawings, proposed new uses while maintaining the Theatre’s historic integrity. Starting in 2007, the renovation project included masonry repairs, reconstruction of historic interior features, new seating arrangements, an expanded stage and orchestra pit, expanded backstage, and new patron amenities. The building additions included new stairs, a theatre balcony, an accessible elevator, dressing rooms, a green room, and a new two-story commemorative exhibition hall/jazz lobby with a concessions area. The renovation included sustainable design practices according to Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman’s “Green Initiative.”
The project received a 2009 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Merit Award and the 2010 Heritage Ohio award for Best Public Rehabilitation.