The SLSO’s renovation and expansion of Powell Hall will transform the almost 100-year-old venue into a vibrant and accessible music center for the entire St. Louis region. We know you have questions about the project’s details, so please check out our Frequently Asked Questions.
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This is the first major renovation of the historic Grand Center building since we purchased the building and made it the SLSO’s first permanent home in 1968.
The renovation and expansion will preserve and enhance what you love about Powell Hall—its renowned acoustics, architectural and historic splendor, and beautiful Wightman Grand Foyer—while improving building infrastructure and expanding the space to better serve our community. The project will improve all aspects of the artistic and audience experience, and enable deeper community collaboration.
We're improving the safety of the building and making it more accessible. You'll also notice upgraded amenities throughout: additional restrooms and concession areas, more gathering spaces, and larger, more comfortable seats.
Yes. Everything you love about Powell Hall—from the red velvet fabric and breathtaking chandeliers in the Wightman Grand Foyer to the renowned acoustics—will be carefully maintained and upgraded as part of this project. The design is complementary to the original building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
We're excited to perform throughout the community during the renovation. Our two primary venues for the 23/24 season will be the Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and Stifel Theatre. This will be a homecoming as Stifel Theatre (then known as Kiel Auditorium) was the SLSO's primary concert venue from 1934–1968.
These venues were chosen for their production capabilities, comfort, and ease of access. We'll take advantage of the unique features of each, with larger-scale productions and movies taking place in the larger-capacity Stifel Theatre, and more intimate productions taking place at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. We will also perform throughout the St. Louis region for special concerts, in communities including St. Charles, Creve Coeur, Cottleville, Manchester, and more.
Subscribers and donors will receive seating priority and will have seats assigned based on subscription order date, subscription tenure, and philanthropic commitment. Subscribers will maintain seating priority upon our return to Powell Hall as long as they continuously subscribe through the renovation period.
We overlaid the Powell Hall seating map to identify comparable seating sections at Stifel Theatre and Touhill Performing Arts Center. Please contact the Box Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-534-1700 for personalized recommendations.
For non-SLSO events usually hosted at Powell Hall—such as the St. Louis Speaker Series and the Bach Society's Christmas Candlelight Concert—please make sure to visit the website for those organizations for updates on their locations and schedules.
We broke ground on the backstage expansion in March 2023 and the orchestra moved out in May 2023. We anticipate returning to the new Powell Hall in 2025—in time to celebrate the building’s centennial.
Parking spaces will be east of Powell Hall, with ADA spaces close to the new east entrance. We are increasing the number of ADA spaces and adding safer, more accessible drop-off locations, making it easier to drop guests off directly at an entrance. The parking lot will be well lit and include designated pedestrian walkways, improving safety and accessibility. We’re also working with our Grand Center neighbors to evaluate district-wide parking improvements.
We're encouraged by the enthusiastic support that we have received so far to make this transformative vision for Powell Hall a reality. The current project cost is estimated to be $128 million, with the majority of funding coming from the generosity of private donors. We look forward to sharing more details with you in the public phase of our fundraising campaign.