In Saturday’s (4/10) Star-Tribune (Minneapolis), Graydon Royce writes, “Orchestra Hall’s distinct, 1970s industrial-style exterior will undergo a dramatic makeover that will transform a signature block in downtown Minneapolis. Architectural drawings unveiled Friday show a classic look of glass and stone in place of a facade marked by primary colors, steamship-style standpipes, opaque panels and, for the past few years, giant photographs. The orchestra’s $40 million plan, designed by Toronto architects Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg (KPMB), would double the size of the lobby, add a multi-use room that could be used by outside groups, and create an unmistakable entrance facing Peavey Plaza and the Nicollet Mall. … KPMB’s presentation Friday is the first step in a renovation scheduled to be completed by 2013. The proposal would expand Orchestra Hall’s physical footprint in two ways—bumping the lobby out toward 11th Street (space currently occupied by a driveway) and creating a new glass-walled ‘City Room’ that would push farther into the adjacent Peavey Plaza. … Inside, another mission is reducing congestion. The current lobby accommodates only 850 people, far fewer than the 2,450 people in a full auditorium. As a remedy, the plan calls for a bigger street-level lobby on a flat floor that will replace the current, multi-leveled one.”

Posted April 12, 2010