The Howard Theatre

  • Area:  30,390 sq ft
  • Location:  Washington, D.C.
  • Year:  2016-11-22
  • Collaboration:  Martinez and Johnson Architecture

The iconic Howard Theatre is the nation’s oldest African-American performance hall, and stands today as a powerful reminder of Washington’s African-American musical history. As part of the team of professionals involved with the renaissance of the famed theatre, Marshall Moya Design designed the interior, guiding the venue into 21st century uses. With state-of-the-art technical requirements, MMD’s design established a modern aesthetic as a complement to the restoration of the historic exterior. Features include: two-story theatre and basement, full-service restaurant and kitchen, dome ceiling with multi-colored LED hanging lights, light box images illuminating pictures of historical performing artists and custom signage. The $29 million, 30,390 sq. ft. venue now facilitates varied uses, hosting high-caliber celebrity events, live performances, corporate meetings, and “Sunday Gospel” brunches, allowing the building to be a multi-functional facility helping to rejuvenate the local community and ensure economic sustainability of the theatre.

Because the theatre is an historic landmark, the entitlements process involved multiple organizations. As leaders of the effort, MMD collaborated with several entities including the National Park Service, Historic Preservation Office, and the ANC to preserve the historic fabric of the theatre.

  • Media:  The Washington Post, Michael Marshall - NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin, Michael Marshall and Paola Moya - Architect Magazine, Michael Marshall and Paola Moya - World Architecture News, Michael Marshall and Paola Moya - World Interior Design Network, Paola Moya and Michael Marshall - AIA DC Magazine, Michael Marshall and Paola Moya - The Washington Post Express, Michael Marshall - WAMU interview, Michael Marshall - FOX News Latino interview, Paola Moya - CNN Espanol interview with Juan Carlos Lopez, Paola Moya - CNN Espanol interview with Ionne Martinez, Paola Moya - Telemundo television interview, Paola Moya - The Washington Hispanic interview, Paola Moya - BET news, Michael Marshall - American Urban Radio Network, Michael Marshall
  • Awards:  National Presidential Citation Award (AIA), American Graphic Design Awards - Howard Theatre Lightboxes, Howard Theatre Menu Design (Graphic Design USA), Award of Excellence in Historic Resources (AIA DC), Timothy Anderson Award for Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation (National Housing & Rehabilitation Association), Historic Preservation Award (DC Office of Planning), DC Catalyst Award (Uptown Professional Magazine), Honorable Mention (International Design Awards), Dandi Award -Arts and Culture category (Diversity and Inclusion Awards)