Sunken Garden Theater, the open-air venue that helped define San Antonio as the “heavy metal capital of the world,” is set to get a $ 62 million facelift.
Brackenridge Park Conservancy, the City of San Antonio and the County of Bexar are teaming up to renovate the deteriorating site, built in 1930. These upgrades will include a wood-frame roof, fixed stadium seating, a grass berm for additional spectators, additional bathrooms, and a restoration of the site’s historic waterfall features.
The reconfigured venue could accommodate up to 7,000 people. The construction schedule depends on how quickly the funding is raised.
“The Brackenridge Park Conservancy believes the time has come for the reactivation of the historic amphitheater,” Brackenridge Park Conservancy board chairman Joe Calvert said in a statement. “The community has the opportunity to preserve the classical theater nestled in the old quarry before it deteriorates further and to create a place we can all enjoy – from community events to concerts and more.”
Located in Brackenridge Park, Sunken Garden was developed as a Works Progress Administration project during the Great Depression. From the 70s to the mid 90s it hosted musical tours ranging from Judas Priest and Metallica to Bob Dylan and Cheap Trick.
While the theater still hosts events, the number has declined in recent years.
Site improvements will be funded by a combination of public and private sources, philanthropic funds, tax credits and site operations, according to Brackenridge Park Conservancy officials.
The renovation would create around 171 full-time positions as the facility resumes hosting regular music and other types of entertainment, the group said. It would also create construction jobs during the renovation.
The Sunken Garden’s restoration partners plan to schedule public meetings to discuss the future of the place.
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