Salem State University – Sophia Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts
352 Lafayette, Salem, MA 01970
The Sophia Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts transformed the former Mainstage Theater built in 1958 into a new focal point for the university’s North Campus. A centerpiece of the theater program, the facility provides a contemporary theater for faculty and student performances and for the use of the larger community. The public enters the glass and perforated metal structure via an exterior courtyard leading to a lobby and art display area. Retaining the existing shell of the building, the redesigned center houses a 432-seat theater notable for its intimate feel and good sight lines. The building includes a balcony, rehearsal room, and performance support spaces.
The Sophia Gordon Center was awarded LEED Gold certification in 2018 for integrating sustainable features into a challenging renovation. While retaining 75 percent of the existing structure, the building was improved with insulation, shading and other features that reduced energy use by 32 percent and water use by 40 percent.
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