The Hangar Theatre
Structural Engineering, Renovations, Repair & Restoration
The Hangar Theatre has been a cornerstone of the Ithaca performing arts scene since 1976. The theatre is a converted municipal airplane hangar, which was constructed in 1934. Years of deferred maintenance and recurrent seasonal flooding necessitated a venue upgrade for the group
To minimize flooding, the floor was raised throughout the building by placing new concrete slabs over existing slabs. A dressing room was constructed at the northeast corner. Because of poor soil conditions, bearing the foundations on the surface soils was preferable to extending the foundations to conventional frost depth. The catwalks and trusses required significant reinforcement. Portions of the existing masonry walls were removed to accommodate an open floor plan. Steel shoring was added to support upper portions of these walls, which are essential to the character of the building.
The original rolling steel hangar doors were removed from within the building, repainted, and reinstalled on the building exterior. Two new stairs framed with engineered-lumber stringers and large landings at the mezzanine were also part of the renovation.
The project ensures a vibrant role for this building in the community for generations to come and should serve as a lesson in sustainability.