Local News

Duke's Baldwin Auditorium reopening soon after $15M renovation

Posted August 1, 2013 4:34 p.m. EDT

— Nearly two years after it closed for extensive renovations, Duke University's Baldwin Auditorium, which serves as a primary rehearsal and performance venue for student ensembles, is ready to reopen. 

Crews are putting the final touches on the 86-year-old theater's face-lift, and the first performance is scheduled for Sept. 14. Professors said they hope the improvements will help attract artists to the campus. 

"I think it will be very helpful in trying to recruit students and faculty to look at our facilities to judge how serious we are about our commitment to the arts," Scott Lindroth, vice provost for the arts, said Thursday. 

In gutting the building, architects were able to improve its acoustics, stage and 685 seats.

The $15 million renovation of the theater is part of an $80 million project that will also renovate West Union and Page Auditorium. The donation was made by the Duke Endowment. 

West Union served as the principal student gathering and eating space for more than 50 years, until the opening of the Bryan Center in 1982. It will be completely remade on the interior to create new student social and dining spaces.

Located between West Union and the Duke Chapel, the 1,200-seat Page Auditorium is Duke’s largest theater. Since it opened in 1930, it has hosted presidents, some of the world’s most recognized artists and musicians, and generations of student programs and performances.

All three buildings are part of the original campus construction that began following benefactor James B. Duke’s creation of both the endowment and the university in 1924.