Monday, October 7, 2013

More Panoramic Shots of the Main Auditorium

Here are some panoramic shots of the Main Auditorium taken with a Fuji FinePix s3380.

More Panoramic Photographs of the Main Auditorium

These are some recent, panoramic photos of the interior of the Main Auditorium, shot using a Samsung Galaxy S3.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Views of the Main Auditorium Ceiling During Renovation

Here are two views of the Main Auditorium during the renovation. These are panoramic images stitched together from multiple photos. Note the large grill at the far right of the top panorama. This late-sixties addition has thankfully been removed. The lights have also been replaced. These units shown here were not original to the building. These lights offered poor quality illumination for the Auditorium. They have been replaced by recessed lighting.

Both photographs also show the original booth, where once were kept the projectors. This booth was not in the plans for the building back in 1923. It was apparently added sometime during the construction phase. The October 21, 1924 edition of the Campus Chat had this to say of the booth:

"The projecting booth, to have been situated in the balcony, should have been planned as a part of that balcony and constructed in harmony with the balcony. No matter how skillfully a booth may be constructed now it will never have the appearance of complete harmony with the building and decorations. It will have a tacked-on appearance, an addition to, not part of the auditorium" (New Auditorium Needs Motion Picture Show, Campus Chat).

Friday, August 23, 2013

Another View of the Main Auditorium

Here is another view of the newly refurbished Main Auditorium. Note the tables, the televisions, the projector booth hanging on the ceiling, the new carpet (the plastic covering is to protect the chairs during cleaning of the handrails on the balcony). Some of the decorative work from the original lathe and plaster work is absent. Compare the ceiling in the above photograph to the ceiling in the photograph below. The beams originally curved into the rest of the ceiling. Now there is only one beam, and it is angular. The new ceiling, however, is better lit than the old ceiling.

Seating at the Main Auditorium

Here is the seating in the newly refurbished Main Auditorium. Note the new media box in the center, up on the balcony, against the wall. It is much larger than the original unit. There is also a console space under the tarp near the front of the balcony. In this panorama, the workers are seen polishing the handrails, which appear to not have been cleaned in some time.

The air conditioning vents in the ceiling are a vast improvement over the previous units, which were installed in 1966.

The Stage of the Main Auditorium

Here is the newly refurbished Main Auditorium Stage. Note the new speakers, paint scheme and carpeting. While it is not faithful to the original design, it is clean and ready for many more years of service.

Feel free to post any comments below. No, please do. Thanks...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Auditorium Panoramic

Here is another panoramic shot of the interior of the Main Auditorium. Gone is the hideous speaker grill over the stage area, as are the hanging speakers, lamps and bulbous AC vents. The room has taken a sleeker look, thanks especially to recessed lighting.

Note the use of color. The room used to be monochromatic throughout most of its history. The original colors listed at the time of construction were White and Corinthian Gray.

The colors in this panoramic shot are similar to the colors inside the hallways of the Auditorium building. The three colors have been applied to the crest above the stage. There is little evidence to show that the crest ever carried any color other than the white and/or Corinthian gray used in the rest of the room. Nevertheless, the new paint helps highlight some of the design features which were rendered subtle by the room's former colors.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Auditorium: Under Construction

The Auditorium room is currently under renovation. The interior of the auditorium has undergone quite a change, as seen in this panorama. The basement and bathrooms have been spruced up as well.

Work on the Auditorium should be completed by mid-August.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"The UNT Main Auditorium: 1923 to Present" book is now available!

Here is the front cover of my book, which is now available for $10 each.It is the culmination of more than a year's work and research.

If you are interested in buying a copy or two or have any questions, please shoot me a message (or attach a comment to this posting).

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Doctor Eschbach

Doctor Jesse Eschbach has taught organ performance at the University of North Texas since 1986. He was influential in rebuilding the Auditorium's Moller organ and bringing the Bedient French Classical organ to the university. The Main Auditorium has benefited greatly from his efforts.

The lineage and biographies of all UNT organ professors will be included in the upcoming book about the Main Auditorium. Included below is Dr. Eschbach's biography, as presented in the book.

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Eschbach is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he was a student of Robert Glasgow. He completed his formal education during a five-year residency in Paris as a student of Marie-Claire Alain, specializing in early French music in her conservatory class at Rueil-Malmaison where he was awarded both a Prix d’Excellence and a Prix de Virtuosité. As one of the very last students of the legendary Marie-Madeleine Duruflé-Chevalier, he studied the complete organ works of her husband, Maurice Duruflé, as well as much of the French symphonic repertoire.

Since 1986, Eschbach has served on the faculty at the University of North Texas as the full-time Professor of Organ, instructing performance majors at all levels. His students have dominated the annual San Antonio competition since 1995 and have won prizes in national competitions as well. A very active performer until 1998, Eschbach has several CDs to his credit, including a disc recorded at the Cathédrale de Perpignan entitled “Music of the Second Empire and Beyond”, released in June, 2003.  Also released in 2003 was his 800+ page book, detailing the original stoplists of the majority of organs constructed by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, based extensively on the Lapresté collection. This research is still in progress, and an expanded second edition will be released in the next few years. The first edition received a very positive “feature review” in the March, 2007 issue of The American Organist. Likewise, his CD recorded on the 1857 Aristide Cavaillé-Coll organ in Perpignan consisting of works by Lemmens, Franck, Gigout, Fessy, Schubert, and Couturier garnered high praise in a February, 2007 review in The Diapason.

Recent tours have taken him to Poland and Italy. He has recently completed assignments adjudicating the preliminary rounds of the AGO National Competition, the Canadian International Organ Competition, and in April 2008, judged the finals of the Fort Wayne National Competition.

Due to focal dystonia in the right hand, his career was sidetracked for more than 10 years, but due to the efforts of Dorothy Taubman and Sheila Paige, he has resumed his performance career.

Eschbach has pursued his technical studies with the renowned Sheila Paige, Director of the Piano and Organ Wellness Clinic. Based on the work of Dorothy Taubman but recast to reflect her own advances in promoting healthy technique, Paige equips her students with technical ease, fluency, and facility based on historical ideas known to musicians since at least the beginning of the nineteenth century.  His work with Sheila Paige is now reflected in his own pedagogy.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Main Auditorium Dedication Plague

Here is the Main Auditorium's dedication plaque, which is located on the right side of the front doors. The Auditorium housed the school's administration offices until 1956, when the new Administration building was completed. At this time, the school was called "North Texas State Teachers' College" or NTSTC.

The building's architects, C. H. Page, is still in business. They now have an office in Dallas, in addition to their Austin branch.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Classroom of the Main Auditorium in the 1960s

This is one of the few available photographs of a classroom in the Main Auditorium building, circa 1960s. The floor and room number are not given. Note the wood window frames and casement windows. The frames were painted at some undetermined point after this photograph was taken, and the windows were replaced sometime in the 1970s.

The identities of the people in this photograph are unknown.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Main Auditorium: From the Yucca

Here is a photograph from a copy of the UNT yearbook, the Yucca. It is from the 1930s. The old, casement windows are clearly visible in this photograph.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Early Drawing of the Main Auditorium

Here is an early look at the UNT Main Auditorium, as seen in the 1924 issue of the Yucca, the school's yearbook. There are quite a few differences between this pre-construction drawing and the building as it was built. Notice the front entry, which is flush with the facade. The front entry here is flanked by four small windows. This may have been the original design for the building. There are few documents that exist regarding the design and construction of the Auditorium.

Compare the main entrance of the drawing to the photo below. This photograph was taken in the summer of 2012. The tree to the right of the photo was cut down a few months after the photo was taken.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Request for Student/ Faculty/ Staff Stories on the Main Auditorium

I am putting together not only this site, but a book as well on the history on the UNT Main Auditorium. I would like to hear from anyone who may have a story, anecdote, or interesting information on this most lovely of buildings. Photographs, too, would be appreciated. I want to build the largest database of information that I can.

Thank you for what ever you may be able to provide.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Three Photographs of the Main Auditorium and the M. P. Möller Organ

Three Photographs. Top: Exterior of the Main Auditorium. Middle: Console of the M. P. Möller Organ, Opus 7676. Bottom: Some of the pipes belonging to the Möller. These pipes are located on the right of the stage.

The M. P. Möller Organ, Opus 3993, was installed in the Main Auditorium sometime late 1924. The first recorded recital on the M. P. Möller Organ took place in January of 1925 by a Dr. Charles Heinroth. M. P. Möller Organ Company returned in 1948 and 1949 to rebuild this instrument under the direction of Helen Hewitt, the organ professor at the time. The console is from this rebuild.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Side Entrance to the Main Auditorium

Here is one of the side entrances to the Main Auditorium. This one is on the southwest corner. It would have originally lead to the first row of seats. The 1935 renovation of the stage area pulled the wall forward, making this door an access door to the stage area.

Note the window above this door. The windows were removed, its area bricked up, sometime around 1993, along with all the windows which allowed light into the auditorium itself. This window removal was done in conjunction with the addition of two new stairwells on either side of the building. This construction changed the appearance of the Main Auditorium (arguably not for the better).

(Not pictured here is a short set of stairs descending to a landing. This door is recessed by about three feet.)