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CH2M HILL Completes Ford's Theatre Rehabilitation
February 16, 2009

CH2M HILL has completed construction management services for the 17-month rehabilitation of the historic Ford’s Theatre, site of the assassination of President Lincoln. The $13.5 million project was completed on time, enabling the theatre to reopen in time for scheduled performances and for the bicentennial celebration of Lincoln’s birthday on February 12th. Rehabilitation began in August 2007, when the 144-year-old theatre and the museum were closed to the public. As one of the most visited tourist sites in Washington D.C., with 1 million school children visiting annually, the site brings the history of that time period of Lincoln’s life alive. The historic theatre needed major rehabilitation to bring it into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and to modernize facilities and infrastructure, while maintaining the historical integrity of the facility.

Improvements included rehabilitation of three adjoining structures: the theatre, the 517 Building, and the “Star Saloon,” which is used by the National Park Service for office space for maintenance and housing of park rangers who give interpretive talks at the theatre and other nearby historic places. Work at the theatre involved new seating; life safety code upgrades; new audio and video systems and improvements to acoustics; a new theatrical lighting system; rehabilitation of house lighting, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and security systems; a new roof; a new lobby, ticket booth, restrooms, concessions, entrance, and other support space; a new “parlor” for special events; and updated stage capabilities for casts and crew. These upgrades make the theatre more audience-friendly and enhance accessibility.

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