The Metropolitan Opera House in Philadelphia comes to life!
The Metropolitan Opera House or Met located at 858 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia (yes, Philly has a Metropolitan – not just NY) is undergoing a $56 Million restoration as a new Live Nation concert venue.
The beautiful building has been sitting vacant for years. The 39,200-square foot theater was built in 1908 by Oscar Hammerstein I and called the Philadelphia Opera House. When it first opened in it was home to the Philadelphia Opera Company and sat some 4000 people as the largest venue of its kind in the world. In 1910 Hammerstein sold it to the Metropolitan Opera of New York and ever since it’s been known as the Metropolitan or Met.
The large building that takes up a full city block at Broad and Poplar Streets will be converted into a 3,500 person venue. The main theater will be transformed for seated and standing-only general-admission concerts; however, the opera house also contains a number of smaller rooms that could be used as additional performance spaces or be converted into lounges.
The building boasts incredible decorative artwork, ceilings, walls, balconies and architecture and will open in all its renovated glory in December 2018.
Let’s start with the interior of the theater itself. This gigantic theater was a real challenge because of the slope elevation where the seats and walkways go. We had to get multiple restoration crews to the ceiling and all sides of the theater.
To do that we used system scaffold that was 120 feet wide by 162 feet long with a deck that sat just below the ceiling at approximately 75 feet high.
We also provided work decks at every 6’6” level to touch the exterior walls. We had two stair towers, one on each side, to give everyone access to their working position.
The equipment was loaded in from access doors near the stage and carted into place where crews then erected the scaffold. To assist, we enlisted the help of a 1000 pound BetaMax Maxial track or ladder material hoist. The Maxial Track scaffold hoist is the safest, fastest, scaffold delivery system available and is adaptable quick and builds with you. You can mount it inside or out and is flexible enough to work perfectly with this configuration.
This enormous scaffold got painting, masonry, carpenter crews, and more up the to the ornate ceiling where they could do their work.
Some of the art, colors and decorative woodwork are fantastic.
This place is really going to sparkle when she is all done.
We also installed scaffold on three sides of the building and debris netted them in for safety. Let’s start with Broad Street since it’s the front of the theater.
We are providing access to the façade, which includes the illustrious balconies, and also to the parapet as well.
We also installed a 245 lineal foot canopy out front for pedestrian protection. It’s 10 feet wide X 8 feet high and has parapet walls on the perimeter of the canopy. It’s also anchored to the sidewalk, engineered and rated at 300 lbs.
The scaffold is 245 lineal ft. x 4 feet wide and 65 feet high with work decks every 6’-6” and a top deck approx. 4 feet below top of wall.
There is one stair tower for access to the work decks and one BetaMax Maxial 1000lb track hoist to get material up.
Let’s move to the scaffolding on Poplar Street. It’s 165 lineal ft X 4 feet wide with work decks every 6’6” for access and a top deck that sits 4 feet below the top of the wall. There is also a stair tower to access the work decks and black debris netting all the way around.
I told you this was quite a job. And we have an almost identical set up on Carlisle St. Unfortunately, that wasn’t erected when I took the photos. And the back of the building is to get several of our suspended scaffold or swing stage units for renovation. Again, they were not up at the time I took the photos.
With this renovation the hope is that the North Broad Street corridor will just get better and better and attract people from all walks of life into the area. It’s all part of the revitalization effort the city and developers have embarked on.
In its prior life this venue was an opera house, a movie theater, and ballroom and in its last incarnation was a church. The Holy Ghost church congregation still holds stake in the theater and will continue to hold Sunday services at the theater when it reopens in December.
There are some big acts slated for the opening date. Superior was proud to be working with GC – Domus, Inc. on this prestigious job bringing the Met back to life!
If you need scaffold, scaffolding or access call Tom at Superior Scaffold today (215) 743-2200 and he will rock your world or visit www.superiorscaffold.com for more.
In honor of one of my Mothers, who sang with Mario Lanza, is today’s musical number.
And for more info on the The Met: