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If you’ve passed near our historic First Hill home on 8th Ave and Seneca in the last few weeks, you may have seen the scaffolding that’s gone up around Town Hall’s façade. It’s been thrilling to see the bustling activity around our building as the renovation progresses, and after only a few months and a handful of hardhat tours, many of the upgrades are already starting to take shape.
The Great Hall looks particularly expectant with the relocation of many of its iconic features. The stained glass windowpanes, decorative molding, and stately mahogany pews have been transferred into the careful hands of restoration experts.
The unique terra cotta façades are getting a thorough revitalization as well. Pioneer Masonry will spruce up the terra cotta throughout the winter, leaving the building’s exterior newly restored and gleaming while the interior is still under construction through 2018.
The first major addition to the interior came in the form of a reassuringly imposing rebar scaffold to help stabilize the structure against earthquakes. Seismic retrofits are crucial for the longevity of a historic building like Town Hall—which was originally constructed in 1916 from unreinforced masonry. The seismic stabilization system is already being integrated into the building’s new interior, adding a solid foot of robust concrete around a thick steel framework throughout all four corners and secured into the foundation. These rebar frames will be joined by hefty beams integrated into the floors and ceilings throughout the building!
On the lobby level, the walls have been removed from the old staff offices. That space is currently being used by our friends at RAFN construction as a base camp and staging area for their workers, but it will become our newest performance space, the West Lounge. Plus we’ve seen the removal of the previously-unused vomitorium stairway in preparation for our 17 new gender-neutral restrooms.
We look forward to sharing future construction updates with you! If you’re interested in following our progress, we’re curating a blog to keep a running update of the renovation, complete with photos and notes about the latest additions. You can also find the latest photos in our renovation gallery on facebook. We’re excited to keep you informed our building’s transformation as Town Hall becomes a modern home for inspired conversation in Seattle—and remains a landmark for another century!