Historic Restoration & Preservation
The Bardavon Theater is a significant historic, economic, and cultural anchor in our community—and its proper care is our responsibility. This explains why restoration, preservation, and maintenance of the theater are vital aspects of our mission.
Thanks to our generous capital donors, we’ve made tremendous improvements to our structure. Over the past 17 years, we’ve spent more than $9 million on renovations and upgrades.
Previous, ongoing, and new fund-raising efforts have provided much-needed finances for capital improvements. But, in order to preserve and maintain our theater for future generations, we have much more work to do.
For more information on our capital projects and how you can help, contact Chris Silva.
UPAC was originally known as the Broadway Theatre when it opened in 1927—and it has been in continuous use ever since.
Over the decades, the theater has undergone numerous changes, upgrades, improvements, and repairs. By the 1970s, though, its overall condition had deteriorated and it was slated for demolition. At that time, concerned citizens rallied together to rescue it and have it placed on the National Register of Historic Properties.
In 2007, a multi-phase renovation plan was developed and portions of it were set into motion. Phases 1 and 2 totaling $3 million in improvements were completed by 2013, and the theater will reopen in fall 2017 following the Final Phase with many infrastructure upgrades including new HVAC and much-needed restroom expansion!
UPAC not only serves communities across the Hudson Valley with quality arts performances—it’s also a main economic engine in the City of Kingston and for neighboring towns. Audiences who attend shows also patronize local businesses while they are in Kingston as well as along their travel routes across the Mid-Hudson region and beyond.
The Bardavon is charged with caring for two of New York State’s historic architectural treasures—and this aspect of our job only grows more significant as our buildings grow older.
Since 1994, we’ve accomplished over $9 million in capital projects at the Bardavon alone—some of the completed work includes structural and exterior stabilization; marquee and façade restoration; HVAC upgrades; improvements to the 35 mm and digital projection systems; and stagehouse, box office and lobby renovations.
At UPAC, the list of renovations and upgrades since the merger with the Bardavon in 2007 is also impressive. During the preliminary phases of our plan, we received $2 million in government and private sector funding for improvements to and/or restoration of the surrounding storefronts, façade masonry, auditorium sound-mix position, wheelchair seating, projection booth and 35mm systems, the green room, and the façade building, portico, and stagehouse roofs.
An additional $1 million of work was completed in 2013 and included reconstruction of the exterior walkway along the south facade of the auditorium and stage house; window replacement in the secondary facades; installation of new building drainage system components; and equipment of storm leaders and gutters with snow and ice-melting.
As with any historic structure, there will always be more work to do! On the horizon are a number of priority projects that we will begin soon.
While the Campaign to Restore & Preserve the Broadway Theatre/UPAC gains steam, we continue to finalize plans for the $7 million punch-list of additional capital projects at UPAC. Phases 3 & 4 of our comprehensive restoration plan that began in 2007 will begin in 2016 and 2017. Topping the list are new HVAC and considerable expansion of the public restroom facilities.
And at the Bardavon, we have begun planning a $500,000 Exterior Envelope Restoration project.
We are grateful that our neighbors and audiences understand the significant role our theaters play in the vitality of the communities we serve. We hope you’ll continue to help us restore our structures so they remain strong for generations to come. You can do so with a gift to the Campaign to Restore & Preserve the Broadway Theatre/UPAC or the Esplanade Walk of Fame.
The Esplanade Walk of Fame at the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie celebrates this theater’s major capital donors. A permanent granite pathway under the marquee, it pays tribute to the distinguished people and organizations that have helped us accomplish so many key building repairs, upgrades, and restoration and preservation projects.
Central to the Esplanade’s design are leitmotifs highlighting some of the many special guests who have graced our stage over the decades – actors, writers, musicians, and political figures such as Mark Twain, Ignace Paderewski, Sarah Bernhardt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Dizzy Gillespie, Itzhak Perlman and Al Pacino.
Added to their names are those of the key individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies that have made substantial capital gifts since 1995. Their immense generosity is etched in stone pavers that line the Walk, and will be there to greet our audiences for years to come.
There’s still much more restoration work to be done on this legendary theater, and the responsible care and maintenance that we conduct will never cease.
Giving to the Esplanade Walk of Fame is an unparalleled opportunity to claim a place in Bardavon history that countless future patrons will appreciate. For their gifts, donors receive a custom-engraved inscription on an Esplanade paver stone. The inscription can include the names of individual or corporate donors, or those of business associates or loved ones, either with or without a personal message.
There are four tax-deductible giving levels from which to choose. Contributions can be made in full right away, or divided your into two or three annual payments.
24″ x 24”
12″ x 24″
12″ x 12″
8″ x 8″
To reserve your stone on the Esplanade Walk of Fame, contact Ruth Ann Devitt-Frank, Development Director. Or fill out and submit our online Esplanade Walk of Fame form.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to the many individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies that have generously contributed toward the ongoing renovation of the Bardavon and the Ulster Performing Arts Center.
Your support of our capital fund-raising initiatives including the Campaign for the New Millenium in the 1990s, the Campaign for the New Century in the 2000s, the ongoing Esplanade Walk of Fame , and now the Campaign to Restore & Preserve the Broadway Theatre/UPAC, has been critical to our success.
We gratefully acknowledge the major support we have received from our leading capital donors:
New York State
New York State Council on the Arts
US Department of Housing & Urban Development
US Department of Juvenile Justice
City of Poughkeepsie
City of Kingston
Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley
Arts Mid-Hudson (Formerly the Dutchess County Arts Council)
James J. McCann Charitable Trust
Jane W. Nuhn Charitable Trust
Jeanette F. Schlobach Charitable Trust
Louis Greenspan Charitable Trust
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
Millbrook Tribute Gardens
The Millman Harris Romano Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts