The Rose Theater
Preservation & Adaptive Reuse
The Rose Theater
Opened in 1927 as The Riviera, this storied theater was billed as one of the most lavish and elegant in the Midwest. Architect John Eberson sought to create a truly dramatic experience, using atmospheric effects to simulate a romantic Mediterranean setting complete with night skies, twinkling stars and drifting clouds. Crowning the wrap-around marqueed entrance is a large copper dome with two smaller domes flanking it. Enveloping the exterior is a diamond-patterned brick facade punctuated by oriel windows, sculpted balconies, terra cotta friezes and griffen-clad towers.
After it was sold and renamed several times—the Paramount in 1929; the Astro in 1962—the theater was purchased and restored by Omaha-native Rose Blumkin in the early 1990’s. The newly christened Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center now serves as the proud home of the Omaha Theater Company.
In 2008, BVH Architects began professional consulting services for the restoration of the Rose Theater. Visual surveys were done of the three copper domes, roof, cupola and exterior brick and terra cotta envelope of the building.
After initial recommendations were made, the team proceeded with the physical analysis and partial removal of deteriorated parapets, balustrades, balconies and decorative column components. This detailed investigation aimed to determine the project scope and full extent of the work required so that accurate cost estimates could be obtained from a restoration contractor.
BVH Architects provided technical details and specifications for the terra cotta, metals and roofing systems for bidding purposes. Other aspects of the project such as lightning protection, exterior lighting, electrical systems, roof access and window replacements were also included in the renovation recommendations. The final exterior restoration of the building was completed in 2010.