In the late 1990s, prior to the University of Saint Francis’ purchase of the former Scottish Rite Center, a multimillion-dollar renovation was completed. The renovation restored and enhanced the original beauty of the historic structure and updated the facility for modern use, as well.
In the building’s Horseshoe Lobby, the terrazzo (hidden for years under paint and baseboard) was restored, as well as the doors and walls, which were repainted in their original colors. The ceiling was repainted, too, and is now a light sky-blue color, with gold metallic paint accenting both the ceiling’s rosettes and the design of the new carpeting. All of the chandeliers were restored to their original brass and copper finish with accents of blue and burgundy, and new sconce lighting was added.
Beautiful scagliola was discovered in the foyer under layers of paint and restored, and in the Auditorium’s entrance, the columns and walls were restored to their original colors and the doors stripped to their natural wood. Also in the Auditorium, the lower-level seats were replaced with historic-style seating in a new color palette, and a new dark-green velvet curtain with an elegant gold border was installed on the stage to match the color scheme. The Auditorium also received three-phase power as well as new electrical and stage lighting.
Other aspects of the renovation included:
- completion of a 30-foot freestanding marquee with electric sign, with faux stained glass installed in the upper arch
- a new neutral color of paint for the Ballroom columns and walls
- new paint and carpet in the Small Dining Room, with A/V capabilities added
- new restrooms in the Ballroom and mezzanine, including a handicap-accessible restroom
- an update of existing kitchen equipment, with new equipment added