Count the home of Houston’s fine arts performances among the casualties from Hurricane Harvey.
A statement from the Wortham Theater Center revealed the performance space is closed until next May for repairs. The home of the Houston Ballet and the Houston Grand Opera sustained major damage during last month’s historic floods.
The building, situated near Buffalo Bayou on the north edge of downtown, took on twelve feet of water during the storm. According to the statement published on the theater’s Facebook page, the building did not sustain any severe structural damage due to the high waters.
However, the waters did affect nearly one-third of the building’s elevators and air conditioning units, as well as the tunnel that connects the building to the Theater District Parking Garage.
“While the building was powered down before the worst of the storm,” the statement continued, “initial assessments revealed potentially dangerous conditions and a clear threat to the mechanical and electrical equipment and building contents. To prevent further damage, Houston First Corporation (Wortham Center’s management company) immediately retained Gilbane Reconstruction Services to begin pumping out the water and stabilizing the building.”
According to the statement, Houston First and Gilbane “continue to work hand-in-hand to complete an evaluation of the critical building systems. That work should be complete in 2-3 weeks.”
Meanwhile, the Houston Ballet is moving its performances of “Mayerling” to the neighboring Hobby Center, but has yet to announce where it will hold its annual performances of the holiday classic, “The Nutcracker.”
Houston Grand Opera also has yet to announce where it will hold its season-opening performance of “La Traviata” in October.
Other Theater District destinations suffered various levels of damage. Jones Hall, home of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, required some drywall replacement and remodeling of the restrooms, but should be up and running within a month.
The Alley Theater, host to many of Houston’s traveling Broadway shows, was nearly destroyed by the rising waters. The Alley traditionally hosts stagings of “A Christmas Carol” during the holiday season.
No announcements have been made on where, or if, the show will go on.