Corbett Tower prior to the 2016-2017 Renovation
When Music Hall was built, the room now known as Corbett Tower was first named Dexter Hall, honoring Julius Dexter, a civic leader and chair of the Music Hall building committee. The room was originally designated as a place for music recitals and provided space for the College of Music, before that campus was constructed.
In the early 1950s, this area of Music Hall was used for radio and television studios, both for the College of Music and for the first broadcasts of WCET.
SPMH historian and preservationist Thea Tjepkema researched the room and found the original ceiling was 21 feet high. A drop ceiling was installed during the 1968-71 renovation to accommodate air conditioning ducts.
Removal of the drop ceiling and wall board during the 2016-17 renovation revealed original stenciling believed to have been done in the late 1800s.
Unfortunately the condition of the walls and stenciling prevented restoration of the design.
So, with funding from SPMH, EverGreene, a company that specializes in architectural arts, determined the original colors. Stencils were made of the patterns and the design was recreated in the room, restoring the elegance of the original hall.
Corbett Tower is named for J. Ralph and Patricia Corbett, long-time arts patrons and supporters of Music Hall.