In 1957, Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas, TX. The theater was built on a budget of $3 million and opened to the public in 1959.The theater has seen many changes over the years, including a $5 million renovation in 1986 and a $32 million restoration project that was completed in 2008.Now, Diller Scofidio + Renfro has unveiled plans to restore the theater to its original glory. The plans include restoring the exterior of the building and updating the interior to modern standards.The restoration project is expected to cost between $15 and $20 million and will take approximately two years to complete.

Plans to Restore Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas unveiled by Diller Scofidio + Renfro - Sheet1
Kalita Humphreys Theater seen at dusk on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Dallas_©

One of the world’s most celebrated architecture firms has unveiled plans to restore one of America’s most iconic theaters. Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the masterminds behind New York’s High Line and the expansion of the Lincoln Center, have released renderings for the future of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas. The project, which is set to begin construction in 2019, will see the existing theater restored and expanded to better suit the needs of today’s performers and audiences. In addition, a new education and public programming center will be built on site, allowing the theater to engage with the community in new and exciting ways. This is an incredible opportunity to not only preserve a piece of American history, but also to breathe new life into it for future generations to enjoy. We can’t wait to see what Diller Scofidio + Renfro have in store for the Kalita Humphreys Theater!

After years of neglect, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Kalita Humphreys Theater is finally getting some much-needed attention. New York-based architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro has unveiled plans to restore the deteriorating building, which has been closed since 2015. The project, which is still in its early stages, will include a complete restoration of the exterior as well as upgrades to the interior. The goal is to create a “living laboratory” for theater and performing arts research, according to a press release. The building, which was designed by Wright in 1939 and completed in 1959, was originally commissioned by the Dallas Opera Association. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.

The History of the Kalita Humphreys Theater | Kalita Humphreys Theater

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kalita Humphreys Theater is a Dallas landmark that is in need of restoration. The world-renowned architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro has been tapped to lead the effort to bring the theater back to its original glory.The history of the Kalita Humphreys Theater dates back to the early 1950s when it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The theater was commissioned by the City of Dallas and built as part of the larger Arts District project. Construction on the theater began in 1953 and it opened its doors to the public in 1959.

Plans to Restore Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas unveiled by Diller Scofidio + Renfro - Sheet2
Kalita Humphreys Theater is seen from across Turtle Creek leading up to the theater, which was how architect Frank Lloyd Wright originally intended visitors to approach the theater._©

The theater has been a major cultural hub for Dallas ever since, playing host to countless performances and events over the years. But time has taken its toll on the building and it is now in need of a major renovation.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro is no stranger to restoring iconic buildings. The firm led the renovation of New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and is currently working on an expansion of the Museum of Modern Art. They are also responsible for designing The Shed, a new arts center that will open in New York City next year.

The firm’s plans for the Kalita Humphreys Theater include restoring the building’s exterior and interior, as well as making some much-needed updates to its infrastructure. The goal is to create a state-of-the-art facility that will serve Dallas

Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Plans for the Restoration

Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the world-renowned architecture firm, has unveiled plans to restore Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas. The Theater, which was designed by Wright and completed in 1959, is one of the city’s most significant cultural landmarks.

The restoration plans include a complete renovation of the Theater’s main auditorium, lobby, and public spaces. The project will also include the construction of a new education and programming center, which will be located adjacent to the Theater.

Masterplan Aerial, view from west. Image Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro._©

The renovation of the Kalita Humphreys Theater is part of a larger effort by Diller Scofidio + Renfro to preserve and revitalize important architectural landmarks. The firm has also restored other notable buildings such as New York’s Lincoln Center and San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art.

The Impact of the Restoration

The effects of the restoration are already being seen in the community. The area around the theater has been revitalized and there is a renewed sense of pride in the neighborhood. The restoration has also had a positive impact on the economy, with new businesses and jobs being created in the area.

Construction Timeline | Kalita Humphreys Theater

The design team has proposed a phased construction timeline for the project. The first phase includes work on the exterior of the theater, including repairs to the facade and roof. The second phase will focus on interior renovations, including updated seating and new finishes. The third and final phase will address accessibility improvements and site work.


Kukil is a fourth-year architecture student who enjoys reading and is interested in design, history, and world affairs.She is a firm believer of the philosophy "form follows function," and she frequently expresses her skill sets in developing creative ideas.