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Minnesota Orchestra Series 7 Buildings and Related Materials

Identifier: PA012-Series 7

Scope and Content Note

Series 7.1: Northrop Auditorium Shell, 1956-68contains files from the office of Orchestra manager, Boris Sokoloffand detail improvements to Northrop Auditorium. They focus on the installation of an acoustical shell and include correspondence with architect Winston Close, consultant George Izenour, and Minnesota Orchestral Association president Charles S. Bellows.

Series 7.2: Orchestra Hall, 1965-79details the planning, design, construction, and later building changes in Orchestra Hall. The files are from Richard Cisek, Donald Engle, Judson Bemis, Barry Hoffman, Stephen R. Pflaum. They may have been re-organized or merged at some point.

Boxes 1-2chronicle the early efforts of the Orchestra to renovate the Lyceum Theatreinto a suitable hall. Some of the documents in these boxes are confidential and require permission for access.

Boxes 3-6include early planning files, information regarding the demolition of the Lyceum (called Soul’s Harbor), and reports and agreements with the architectural firms, Hammel Green and Abrahamsonand Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associatesand with acoustician, Dr. Cyril M. Harris.

Boxes 7-11detail the construction of the Hall. They include files on all aspects of the Hall, progress reports and meetings with architects, and related information. They also include files relating to the use of the building and changes made in the building in its first years.

Box 12contains information about the dedication of the building and includes copies of newspaper articles that detail the entire building process.

Series 7.3 Peavey Plazacontains a small amount of correspondence regarding the creation of Peavey Plaza.


  • 1956-80

Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

Materials are restricted. Prior permission in writing from the President of the Minnesota Orchestral Association is required. For access, please contact the curator. The original documents do not circulate and may only be used in the Reading Room of the Manuscripts Division..

Restrictions on Use

Photoreproduction and audio reproduction of any materials in which the Minnesota Orchestral Association holds copyright, shall be performed only with the written permission of the MOA except for photoreproduction of any published materials of the Association in the public domain.

Historical Note

The Minnesota Orchestra performed in different auditoriums during the first seventy years:

  1. 1905-30 Lyceum Theatre/ Minneapolis Auditorium
  2. 1930-70 Northrop Auditorium, University of Minnesota
  3. 1970-73 O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, College of St. Catherine

In the early 1970s the Association began investigating possibilities for a new performance space for the Orchestra.


15 boxes


Includes information about the Northrop Auditorium Shell and extensive documentation regarding the construction of Orchestra Hall which was dedicated in October 1974.

Organization of the Collection

The collection is organized into the following series: Series 7.1 Northrop Auditorium Shell, 1956-68 Series 7.2 Orchestra Hall, 1965-79 Series 7.3 Peavey Plaza, 1976-80

Physical Location



Transferred to the archives in the late 1970s.

Related Material

Extensive photographic documentation of the construction of Orchestra Hall is located in Series 11.6. Series 5.9, Hall Facilities, contains additional information about Orchestra Hall.

Processing Information

The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Leslie Czechowski, 2001.

Minnesota Orchestra Series 7 Buildings and Related Materials
Finding aid created by Leslie Czechowski
20 August 2003
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Performing Arts Archives Collecting Area