Clarke’s initial design for the city auditorium was more elaborate than the budget would allow, and he was required to simplify his scheme. Nevertheless, this more modest rectangular building of locally quarried rusticated limestone with tower-like corners is impressive. The walls are laid in randomly sized stones, and the pattern created by their irregularity and textured surfaces form the principal decorative character of the building. The entrance to the theater section, another area where costs were reduced, has a narrow unadorned vestibule and ticket window. Inside, the wood detailing is simple, but the raked auditorium floor, with a slightly curved seating plan, produced good sightlines for theater performances and other events. John Phillip Sousa and his sixty-seven-piece band performed concerts for the grand opening.
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