Gaillard Auditorium a shell of its former self
Just five weeks into the Gaillard Auditorium project and the building looks like it was part of the Charleston bombardment during the Civil War.
The roof is gone, the concert hall is stripped clean of all its chairs, and most all the outside brick has been removed and taken to be recycled.
Construction teams say they are on schedule in the $142 million upgrade, partially because of a six-day work week, Kelly Deans, general superintendent of the project, said during a media tour this morning.
The demolition phase should be complete by Dec. 14, he added.
On the outside, each brick that helped define the building’s yellowish exterior has been hand-chiseled out of place.
On the inside, as the rooms are gutted the plan is to eventually gut out enough room so that trucks can drive though the building’s insides to be filled with debris, then drive out.
As envisioned, the redesign will turn Gaillard’s 1968-era auditorium and exhibition space into a modern and more acoustically sound building to better support the Spoleto Festival USA and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, among other forms of presentations.
Most of the cost, about $96 million, is slated toward renovating the main performance space, including by reducing the 2,730-seat auditorium to 1,800 seats.
The completion date is set for 2015.