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Ringing in the New


Horace Mann Auditorium

Horace Mann Auditorium

Raising the curtain: The recent renovations to Horace Mann Auditorium, part of the new Cowin Center, are both aesthetic and technological, and also are fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It was hoped that the original architectural details of the auditorium could be restored, as was done in Milbank Chapel several years ago. "Unfortunately, that was not the case," says Vince DelBagno, Director of Capital Projects. "It irretrievably suffered two poor renovations in the mid-1900s, which stripped the auditorium of incredibly beautiful and valuable architectural detail." The original auditorium was in the style of a Victorian Opera House, with stained glass windows and wood columns and panels, DelBagno says. "The upper level structure and layout was changed in order to provide better sight lines to the stage itself. Previously, most of the stage area was not visible from the mezzanine level." The renovation includes four wheelchair-accessible ramps to the stage, full audio-visual capability and a modern sound system, and substantially upgraded lighting adequate for both stage and classroom usage of the space. ADA-compliant ramps have also been installed at the entrance to the Horace Mann building at Broadway and 120th Street.

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