Richard Rodgers Theatre
The Richard Rodgers Theatre opened in 1924 and, originally called the 46th Street Theatre, it was renamed in 1990 to honor the legendary composer Richard Rodgers, whose shows defined Broadway for over three decades. This theater has been a house of hits, hosting a long line of famed musicals including Anything Goes, Guys and Dolls, Damn Yankees, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Nine, Chicago, and Movin’ Out.
Richard Rodgers Theatre 226 W 46th St. New York, NY 10036
The theatre was designed by Herbert Krapp for Irwin Chanin, and his light and elegant design for the interior expertly embodies the Adamesque style that experienced widespread revival during from the 1880s to the 1920s. Its array of foliate motifs, grotesque heads, and carved borders are at once grand and unified. The current paint scheme, however, bears scant relation to the theater’s historic color palette and does little to compliment or enhance the delicate plaster ornament. EverGreene conducted an investigation and documentation of the painted and plaster finishes during the fall of 2012. Through on‐site examination and laboratory analysis, EverGreene established the original decoration of the interior and the current conditions of the paint and plaster finishes. The survey of the current conditions of the building materials and finishes enabled the development of general options for the Theatre’s restoration.
Owner: Nederlander Producing Company of America, Inc. 1450 Broadway, 6th Floor New York, NY 10018 t: (212) 840‐5577 Original Architect: Herbert Krapp Original Builder & Owner: Irwin Chanin Original Construction: 1924 Capacity: 1,319 Investigative Study: December, 2012 Restoration Start: May 5, 2013 Restoration Complete: August 22, 2013 Services Provided Investigative Study Color Palette Design Decorative Painting Plaster Consolidation Ornamental Replication Gilding Mural Design Mural Production Installation Wallcoverings Digital Solutions EverGreene Staff: Jeff Greene, President Bill Mensching, Project Manager Amanda Park Stauffer, Conservator Forrest Filler, Conservation Technician Eugene Nikitin, Designer Sofia Stambolieva, Project Administrator Darryl Graff, Site Supervisor Jed Ellis, Decorative Painting Foreman
The color scheme throughout the theater was dark and heavy, mostly shades of gray with gilded accents. This was inconsistent with the light, airy style of an Adamesque interior.
Design Options: Decorative Scheme
The design process began with overall concepts for color palettes, wall coverings, gilding options, and decorative painting styles.
Design Options: On-Site Testing and Mock ups
EverGreene performed testing of materials on site. On a portion of the balcony and on the walls is a mock up of a potential design scheme. If approved, this design scheme would be carried throughout the theatre.
The proscenium design with the oversized leaves seemed to be incongruous with the surrounding decoration and not original to the theater. Adamesque design was lighter and based in Classicism.
Further investigation, here one of the gilded leaves was removed, revealed that the original proscenium appeared intact underneath the post-historic additions.
In June of 2013, EverGreene craftsmen demolished the outer plaster piece, and discovered a beautifully ornamented proscenium. The delicate design of unique figural forms and floral patterns still retained traces of gilding.
An EverGreene conservation technician uses water to soften the post-historic plaster that previously supported the exterior molding with water. By delicately scraping the plaster away, he reveals the bas relief sculpture of figural characters.
Rondel Murals: Design
Well-versed in Classical design, mythology and symbology, EverGreeneâ€™s design team creates with sketches, then full color painted designs for review and approval by the client.
Rondel Murals: Hand Painting
Once a design is approved, the rondels will be hand painted by a professional muralist executed full-size in EverGreeneâ€™s studio on West 31st Street and installed in the Richard Rogers Theater. There are two primary rondels, each about 6â€™ in diameter. Once completed, they will be installed in the upper right and upper left side of the stage wall.
Rondel Murals: Completion
Decorative Paint Implementation
To implement the decorative scheme that EverGreene developed, almost every square inch of the theater had to be repainted. Here, an EverGreene painter puts on the finishing touches in the lobby.
The completed proscenium arch displays recasted and gilded elements. The decorative finish scheme harmoniously reflects a historically inspired color palette.
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