COMMUNITY: What’s Old is New Again, The Ballroom at the Academy of Music

August 11, 2009 ,
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Recently, we enjoyed the rare opportunity for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Ballroom at The Academy of Music, which is undergoing an extensive and amazing renovation.  The Ballroom has been lovingly and respectfully restored to its original 1857 decor after removing years of renovations occurring over the last century.

Ten new crystal chandeliers and two bronze main chandeliers, replicas of the originals, have been installed.  Decorative painting on the walls and ceilings has been completed as well.  The most dramatic change is along the Broad Street side of the room where five windows have been revealed and replaced, allowing natural light into the space!  The new windows include original stained glass designs set in fanlight transoms atop each.

The Academy of Music Ballroom is a magnificent treasure in Philadelphia, the site of many swanky social and cultural galas in years past.  When the renovations are completed, the room will be available for event rental once again!  We think it is the PERFECT setting for rehearsal and cocktail-style receptions, anniversary parties, weddings, birthdays and other events.  For example, coupled with other available spaces in the Academy of Music that may be used for cocktails, the Ballroom offers a beautiful setting for an elegant dinner dance.  Restaurant Associates, the hip NYC firm that caters in the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, is the exclusive caterer in the Academy of Music and has excellent plans for ways to use the space.  The renovated Ballroom at the Academy of Music promises to play host to many wonderful celebrations in the coming years.

While on our tour, we snapped a photo of an original 1860 photograph found in the Archives of the Academy.  Below is the photo along with a few shots of the room under renovation.  Check back in the Fall to see just how magnificent the completed space looks!


Above, the1860 photograph depicting the original interior of the Ballroom.  Below, today’s work in progress.




Detailed painting on the ceiling and walls adds to the room’s elegant, timeless quality.


Here, is a view of the beautiful new windows with the stained glass detail.