The Paradise Center for the Arts is the result of a combined effort from three different arts groups to restore an abandoned theater and preserve an important historic structure in the community. Because of this collaboration, ISG needed to prepare a design that would accommodate multiple user-groups and uses including performing arts space, visual arts studio and gallery space, as well as supporting areas such as classrooms, rehearsal rooms, storage, and offices.
The design also restored the main historic entrance façade to its original 1929 appearance, and the entire building was made accessible. Originally designed for a 900 seat theater capacity, the building renovation maintained the integrity of the main seating area while converting it to a smaller, more intimate 300 seat venue. The resulting gain in space allowed for the addition of a balcony with cabaret-style seating for private groups attending performances, increased lobby space, and also enabled the creation of various support spaces.
ISG worked closely with the Owner's team-comprised of artists, actors, community leaders, and a construction manager-to carefully plan and seamlessly integrate all design services with the owner's vision for the restoration. The end result of this project is a beautifully restored auditorium which serves many needs within the community. The Paradise Center for the Arts won the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota for outstanding preservation projects in 2008.