The project team behind the Fox Theatre Renovation and Addition was tasked with preserving the historical ambiance of a 1929 vaudeville theater, but also converting it into a 1,600-seat performing arts center.
The $30-million project, which took less than two years to build, also needed to retain the Spanish revival architecture and detailing both inside and out. The city of Riverside funded the construction of the theater and asked the project team to restore it to its former glory. The project is part of the city’s billion-dollar plan to invest into Riverside’s art and culture. The city has plans to use the renovated Fox Theatre as a venue for national and Broadway shows.
The main challenge of the renovation project was to make the old structure meet new seismic and building standards. For example, walls were found to have little or no foundations. The project team had to use special methods of pumping and injecting concrete to ensure that the building was made solid. Another challenge was the project team had to use the original blueprints for the renovation
Special care was taken to restore the theater to what it looked like in previous years. Special moldings were made to restore the ornate plaster. The entire ceiling restoration was performed by artisans trained in the cathedrals of Europe.
Owner: City of Riverside
General Contractor: Bayley Construction, Santa Ana
Architect: RF McCann Co., Sierra Madre
Electrical Consultant: DANR Electric, Long Beach
HVAC: Western Allied Corp., Santa Fe Springs