Restoration and rehabilitation of this historic theater was the first significant step in the renaissance of popular entertainment in the landmark 42nd Street District. Built in 1900 by Oscar Hammerstein, the New Victory is New York’s oldest surviving theater.
Due to the intricacy of interior detail and numerous modifications over time, H3’s staff began the project with an existing conditions report in order to create a master plan for restoration and rehabilitation. The program included expansion of the lobby and basement, creation of an upper lobby, and restoration of the facade and all interior elements, including detailed plaster and wood work.
Upgrades were made to the theater’s technology and infrastructure to accommodate contemporary needs, an elevator was added, an infill building was renovated to serve back-of-the-house functions, and new equipment was installed.
Wrought iron stanchions and new seats were patterned with the same bumblebee motif used in the original plasterwork. Elaborate stacked boxes on either side of the stage, faux plaster draperies, and gilded plasterwork including fleur-de-lis, laurel wreaths, and winged female figures were repaired and refinished. On the exterior, the grand double stair was re-created, complete with ornate, standing globe lamps.
The New Victory was New York’s first major midtown theater offering year-round programming for young audiences. Building on that disctinction, H3 is currently working with the New Victory to re-envision its lobby space to better engage audiences.