Levitt Pavilion part of a much broader redevelopment strategy

11:23 a.m. Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 Homepage

Architects’ design concepts for the proposed Levitt Pavilion Dayton reflect a free music venue that officials hope can attract large crowds to help rejuvenate downtown’s core.

The outdoor amphitheater — planned for Dave Hall Plaza located adjacent to the Crowne Plaza hotel — seeks to engage and bring together diverse communities and re-activate an underutilized area.

But to achieve those lofty goals, officials said, the pavilion will have to offer a one-of-a-kind experience and public space that draws 1,500-to-2,500 people to each of its 50 free summer concerts while also serving as an urban park.

Supporters have raised about $4.2 million of the $5 million needed to make the pavilion a reality. The plan is at the center of a redevelopment strategy called “The Nine,” which seeks to create a distinct and thriving urban neighborhood.

“In my entire career … I’ve never seen so much headed toward a convergence point as I’m seeing right now,” said John Gower, urban design director at CityWide Development Corp. “This is about the emergence of a vibrant, urban community and every one of these pieces is an important part of that.”

An artist’s rendering of what the Dayton Levitt Pavilion could look like. SUBMITTED

On Monday night, Cleveland-based design firm DLR Group / Westlake Reed Leskosky shared three conceptual renderings of the Levitt pavilion at a public meeting on the top floor of Crowne Plaza, overlooking Dave Hall Plaza.

The firm concluded that the Levitt stage should be constructed on the southwest corner of the property, at Fifth and Main streets, directly across from the Dayton Convention Center.

That decision was based on a variety of factors, including the position of the sun and shading, the backdrop of the stage, acoustics, seating and views of the stage and how people access and enter the site.

The pavilion would double as a public park when it is not in use as a performing arts venue, said Mark Kline, landscape architect and co-founder of MKSK, a Columbus firm.

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