Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

When it debuted in 1992, this world-class facility designed by the architects at Elevatus, formerly SchenkelShultz Architecture Fort Wayne, represented the state of the art in performing arts center design. The Blumenthal Center is part of a $300 million mixed-use complex in Center City Charlotte. It adjoins the 60-story Bank of America headquarters.

Included the center are two theaters: the 2,100-seat Belk Theater and a 450-seat experimental theater, The Booth Playhouse. The Belk is a lyric theater with four levels of audience chambers. Its orchestra is located one level below the street and its parterre at street level with two balconies above. A glass dome allows natural daylight to filter into the 2-story atrium lobby. interior spaces are identified on the façade by different types of windows: a screen of openings for offices, a large bow window for the Belk Theater lobby, and a rising corner window following a grand stairway.

The exterior takes on the shapes of the spaces it encloses. Brick in different earth-tone shades is arranged in numerous patterns with ornamental string courses marking them. Two full-fly lofts make a distinctive architectural statement, clearly proclaiming this structure a theater complex.