Newark Symphony Hall, the oldest and largest entertainment venue in New Jersey, received a $750,000 grant from the Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund to help support the venue’s $40 million renovation project. This grant was the maximum amount awarded by the fund.
The symphony hall is scheduled to begin a five-year renovation early next year. While the 95-year-old venue is still operational (it is currently closed due to COVID-19), the symphony hall has suffered water damage and needs new windows and a marquee, among other renovations. The Historic Preservation Fund grant will be used to restore the building’s exterior facade. This work, which will include stucco repairs, structural damage repair, restoration of limestone near the main entrance façade and repairs to the rooftop ductwork, will help limit water infiltration which has damaged the interior of the venue.
Taneshia Nash Laird, president and CEO of Newark Symphony Hall, described the importance of the Historic Preservation Fund award to the overall restoration of the symphony hall. “This capital grant of the maximum-possible award demonstrates the state’s confidence in Newark Symphony Hall as a cultural and historic landmark. This award will help bring Newark Symphony Hall back to its prominence as a first-class performing and community arts center,” Laird said.
The Newark Symphony Hall was built in 1925 as the Salaam Temple. Throughout its history, the venue has been host to performances by legendary artists such as Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, and Jimi Hendrix. Newark Symphony Hall staff believe that the fully renovated venue will serve as the beginning of a restored arts district and a southern gateway to Newark’s downtown.