Building Description Albany Municipal Auditorium, Albany Georgia
The Albany Municipal Auditorium, prominently located in downtown Albany, is on the northwest corner of North Jefferson and Pine Streets between North Jefferson and Flint Streets near the Albany City Hall and Dougherty County Courthouse. The square brick building, in a park setting, is reminiscent,of designs such as Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple.
The main part of this building is a three story rectangle that is surrounded with cubes of various heights which are attached to the building. The main entrance, in the center section of the building, is denoted by the overhang of a marquee entrance that features diamond shaped projections above the top of the awning with geometric Art Deco patterns on them. The side entrances, in the one story cubes, also feature these overhanging shelters a smaller and plainer style. These side cubes are flanked two story cubes on each corner of the building. Although the squareness of the main section of this building and of the side cubes make it appear severe, it does have some decorations such as the drip moulded brick bands that encircle the building near the top of the main section and the cubes. These bands of brick also vertically orient the windows and doors in groups of twos and threes, giving relief to the vast expanses of brick wall. These expanses of wall are also relieved by bands of marble that circle the building at the top of the main section and the side cubes. The Albany Municipal Auditorium may be compared with Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Church of 1906 because of these details; however, the Wright church is smaller, more unified in its squareness, and more focused on the windows under the eaves than the Albany Auditorium.
The Auditorium is entered through the main semi-circular foyer that was originally painted cream and gold with marble trim around the double doors to the orchestra, the galleries, and the smaller meeting rooms. This marble trim also extends along the base board of the floor throughout the building Other doors with geometric Art Deco glass panels lead from the side entrances through short corridors to this foyer. The Auditorium, itself, is an oval that is entered from the foyer on a short axis. There are approximately 1,500 seats in this oval that are arranged in the orchestra, the lodge, and the two balconies; originally there were also four boxes on either side of the stage. Because of this short oval, the balcony seats are brought forward close to the stage. The only decorations in the auditorium are paired paneled columns supporting the balconies and moulding along such joints in the wall as the joint between the ceiling and the proscenium arch. The interior of the audience part of the Auditorium was, like its foyer, also painted cream and gold with marble trim. The dressing rooms were located at the sides of the stage and in the basement below the stage. There were also business offices located off this main section of the Auditorium in a wing extension of the two story cube at the rear of the building on the left side.
By 1972 the Albany Municipal Auditorium was closed and vacant: the boxes on either side of the stage and the orchestra pit were closed off and most of the cream and gold paint had peeled off the walls and ceilings throughout the building, but the exterior of the building had only had minimal changes during the 59 years since it was completed.
The building was restored and reopened in 1990.