After about two years of planning and work, supporters of the Levitt Pavilion Dayton have reached their $5 million fundraising goal, meaning downtown is set to receive a state-of-the-art music amphitheater by mid-2018.
The pavilion, a central part of a redevelopment strategy to create a new urban neighborhood in the heart of downtown, will put on 50 free shows each year, featuring local, national and international musical acts.
The pavilion will be downtown’s “living room” whose shows are expected to attract more than 100,000 people each year into the center city, building camaraderie and community among visitors while reinvigorating an underutilized public space, supporters say.
The pavilion, like the new $64 million main Dayton Metro Library that opened on Saturday, is a civic investment that will lure and leverage new private investment downtown, officials said.
“We are committed to making the arts a cornerstone of a healthy community,” said David Melin, PNC Bank regional president for Dayton. “Our support ensures area residents and visitors will enjoy world class entertainment by high-quality musicians, in the heart of downtown Dayton.”
Construction on the outdoor amphitheater, which will be installed in Dave Hall Plaza just north of the Crowne Plaza Dayton, is expected to begin next month and will wrap up in time for performances to begin in June of next year.
The Levitt project is an important piece of “catalyzing” the investments taking place along and south of Third Street, including the new library and the planned overhaul of the Dayton Arcade, said John Gower, urban designer director for CityWide.
Civic investments certainly are not new to Dayton, but the size of the investments underway or planned are probably the largest since the 1970s with the creation of Dave Hall Plaza, the convention center and Courthouse Square, he said.
The Levitt will host 50 free shows each year between May and September, and the venue, when not in use for shows, will be a public park.