Design practice RIOS worked together with historic preservation firm Page & Turnbull to restore and renovate the historic Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. As an iconic element of Griffith Park, the 5,900-seat outdoor music venue was built 90 years ago into the base of a canyon. Phases 1 and 2 included the removal of alterations to the site that obscured the historic character, as well as complete restorations of the iconic entry gates.
The setting of The Greek sets it apart from many venues across the nation; Griffith Park is an iconic municipal park with an urban wilderness area. While the pandemic forced the Theatre's closure through the 2020 season, the restoration work went ahead, from the decorative entrance doors and plaza to the glazed terra cotta tile roof. The restoration work and updates were performed in phases during the off-season (winter) over several years.
Page & Turnbull architect and principal John Lesak, noted that, "Over the years, the site had accumulated a disparate collage of signage, advertisements and additions that obscured the original Neoclassical features. We focused attention on conserving the iconic patron doors, and restoring the signature green-glazed clay tile roof." As the team notes, they were only able to salvage about 10% of the original tera cotta roof tile, and as a result, undertook an effort to custom fabricate new ones using slip-casting and glazing.
The Greek now also features a carbon fiber wrap to the concrete roof deck for seismic strengthening, as well as a restored skylights updated with high-performance glass. “While it’s a shame that the 2020 season is canceled, the Greek Theatre is worth a visit anyway,” said Lesak. "The architecture and the land are a sensational marriage, making the venue a true American treasure, even when it stands empty.”
News via Page & Turnbull