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SEATTLE-According to the city’s Seattle Center, the Seattle Opera House will reopen as the Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in exactly one year, after it undergoes a $125-million renovation.

Seattle Center Opera House dates back to 1927, when it was originally dedicated as the Civic Auditorium, according to the Seattle Center.

For the 1962 World’s Fair, the Auditorium was renamed Seattle Center Opera House and received a $3-million renovation to modernize the outer facade and public areas, but no funds were spent on the working components of the building. The original front of the 1927 Civic Auditorium is still behind the west brick wall of Seattle Center Opera House.

Now the center is being rebuilt as the Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Like the previous two projects on the site, the new hall is funded by a public/private partnership. The Opera House was not only seismically unstable but also too small to accommodate modern backstage performance needs. Seattle Center is working hand-in-hand on the project with three non-profits: Seattle Center Foundation, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle Opera.

The construction team has demolished the unwanted 70% of the former facility and is in the process of remodeling the remaining 30%.When completed in June 2003, McCaw Hall’s entrance will be a five-story curving glass facade. The site will feature spacious lobbies, including a 12,000-sf Grand Lobby and new 2,890-seat auditorium.

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