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Essay on Severance Hall on University Circle

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One of the jewels of University Circle, Cleveland's cultural district, Severance Hall is located on the corner of East Boulevard and Euclid Avenue and is famous all across the country for having exquisite architecture, as well as extraordinary sound in its main concert hall. Despite the deteriorating economy during the Great Depression, construction began in 1929 and was finally finished in 1931. Since its opening in 1931, the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra has held the majority of its concerts there, and uses Severance Hall as its home. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Severance Hall, including its amenities and appearance, is a major feature in the downtown scene of the city of Cleveland. Severance Hall…show more content…
New York sculptor Henry Hering created an art-deco sculpture for the over-head arch, called the pediment. Inside, Severance Hall has one of America's greatest Art Deco interiors. As is usual with the style, Egyptian Revival mixed with inspiration drawn from Greek and Roman themes. The ceiling and pillars inside the auditorium shine with Art Deco motifs in aluminum leaf, a material that was the favorite of Art Deco designers. The lotus flower pattern of Severance Hall's gleaming silver ceiling was inspired by the wedding dress of Elisabeth Severance. Hanging on both sides of the auditorium were triangular wings that had circulation areas, a green room, a lounge, offices, and a library. Onstage was an elevator for the orchestra, and a skydome for operas, as well as a large pipe organ. The hall had unique colored spotlights operated by a clavilux or "color organ" for constantly changing lighting effects. Later on, the stage was completely rebuilt, with a new acoustic shell to improve the projection of the orchestra's sound. In 1958, the stage was completely rebuilt to fix the acoustics of the hall. A stage shell was built to reflect sound, and most of the carpets and wall decorations were removed from the main concert hall, to improve the sound quality. The shell also clashed with the hall’s Art Deco style. However, while The Cleveland
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