The Count Basie Theatre
Originally constructed as the State Theatre in 1926, the building was rechristened the Count Basie Theatre in 1984, in honor of Red Bank native, jazz pianist, composer and bandleader William "Count" Basie (1904-1984).
Principals of Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC* worked with the Count Basie Theater, Inc. to prepare a Concept Design for the theatre's restoration, renovation, and possible expansion. A report was prepared that included a building conditions study, a programming needs study, recommendations, and cost estimates for six scopes of work to address various repairs and expansions needed to not only bring the building up to code, but to further its mission of providing the community with a variety of quality arts programs and educational opportunities.
The initial phase of work involved a complete restoration of the interior plaster ornament, which had been damaged extensively by water infiltration over the years. The project included conservation of existing plaster and reproduction of lost details, decorative painting, custom light fixtures and carpeting, new patron lounges, upgraded mechanical and electrical systems, and infrastructure for performance and other building system enhancements. For the exterior restoration phase, glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) was used to replicate failed terra cotta ornament. In addition, the entire outer layer of brick, which was heavily painted over time to hide failures, was removed to repair structural and moisture protection deficiencies in the walls and to provide for energy conservation. A new marquee, reminiscent of an earlier structure, gives enhanced visibility and street presence through electronic signage and LED lighting.
*working as Farewell Mills Gatsch Architects, LLC.