St. Paul, Minnesota

"A noteworthy example of preservation on a severely limited budget. Rather than replicating what had been lost, Oertel Architects refurbished the remaining historic fabric and gave it a neutral background, allowing historic components to read as artifacts."  ~Diane Trout-Oertel

Built in 1916, and unused since 1984, this historic theater is being given new life as a musical venue owned by the city of St. Paul and operated in conjunction with First Avenue and JAM Productions.  Work included tearing out the main level seating thereby creating a large general admission area, adding bars, new restrooms, and backstage green rooms.

The major design philosophy was “preservation through stabilization”.  The intent wasn’t to restore the building to its original state, but a conservation to feature the worn and weathered aesthetic.  We worked to strip away modern renovations to uncover, stabilize, and protect what remains of the original building, supplementing complementary modern construction techniques as required.

Jeremy Messersmith performs the song "Ghost" in the St. Paul Palace Theatre in the midst of the renovations.  Get more information on the sessions here.    And find out about the City of St. Paul's "Sounds Perfect:  Year in Music" project here. 

deM atlaS performs "Down in the Low" from his 2015 Rhymesayers Entertainment release DWNR while exploring the renovation of St. Paul's Palace Theater.  For more information click here.  

The Palace Theatre continues to move through its renovation process, preparing to fill a gap in St. Paul venues when it opens next year. Until then, the Palace Sessions continue (having been pioneered by Jeremy Messersmith and deM atlaS), and this time, Sarah White performs in the under-construction space.