Memorial Hall Society

Wikipedia, available for use

From new amenities to improved access, many arts venues around town are getting major makeovers. Starting in June, Music Hall will be closed for the most detailed renovation in its nearly 140-year history. Memorial Hall closed last May and is currently under renovation. Over-the-Rhine is also getting a new theater on the corner of 12th and Elm streets.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The cost to renovate Memorial Hall is higher than estimated.  Sara Bedinghaus of 3CDC says the contractor bids were $3 million more than expected.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Memorial Hall can sometimes be overshadowed by Music Hall.  But like its larger next-door neighbor in Over-the-Rhine, the performance space is also about to be updated.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Historic Memorial Hall in Over-the-Rhine is getting a new lease on life.

Hamilton County Commissioners are leasing the performance hall to 3CDC. The 40-year-deal will allow for major renovations.

Marge Hammelrath is CEO of the Memorial Hall Society. She says the organization will maintain oversight of the building and its operations.

"That's our thing that we worked for in this agreement. We wanted to make sure that the hall stays in the hands of the people and we represent {the} community as a non profit," she says.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Memorial Hall is one of Hamilton County's storied venues but it often sits empty because of a lack of modern amenities like air conditioning.

The Memorial Hall Society, 3CDC and Hamilton County Commissioners are considering a partnership to revitalize the building.

Society president Bill Baumann says, "Our vision for Memorial Hall is to help it transition from an underutilized facility to and active arts center with a diverse offering of music concerts and other performing arts programs, film presentations, lectures and art exhibitions."