New MacPhail Center closer to opening

The MacPhail Center
The new MacPhail Center for Music is located on the corner of S. 2nd St. and 5th Ave. S. in the Historic Mills District of Minneapolis.
Photo courtesy of James Dayton Design

The MacPhail Center for Music will move into its new flagship building next month, near the Mill City Museum and the Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis.

Teachers, administrators and various community supporters have been getting a sneak preview of the new facility to see what they have to look forward to when it opens to the public on Jan. 5, 2008.

The new $25 million school has a six-story tower with 56 studios, as well as a state-of-the-art performance hall. Other features include a new recording space, small performance areas, and facilities to meet the needs of the school's Suzuki and music therapy programs.

Performance hall
The performance hall at the new MacPhail Center has a recessed pit in the middle, which allows for more flexibility in how the concert hall is set up.
Photo courtesy of James Dayton Design

The MacPhail's current home is an old building on LaSalle St. near Orchestra Hall, where it's been for the past 87 years. Paul Babcock, MacPhail's executive vice president, says that building is too small and too outdated to meet the school's growing needs.

Among the more mundane improvements are better temperature and humidity control, and parking spaces for staff and guests.

The new building is specifically designed for music education and performance, with enhanced acoustics and technology.

Classical Minnesota Public Radio host Julie Amacher recently toured the new MacPhail building with a group of staff members and contributors. Vice President Paul Babcock was the tour guide.

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