Clay Center, Maier Foundation Performance Hall

The Clay Center, in West Virginia’s capital city of Charleston, was inspired by the desire to bring a wide range of cultural events to the region.

The 1,883-seat world-class Maier Foundation Performance Hall houses the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Maier Hall also accommodates a range of performance types including Broadway shows, without sacrificing intimacy or sightlines.

FDA contributed to all aspects of the project’s design, including helping plan and design the 55 foot wide, 45 foot deep stage to allow diverse production styles. The double pit lift enables the technical staff to raise or lower two sections of flooring either individually or together. When the seats are removed and both lifts are raised into position, the stage can be extended into the audience. When they are lowered, an orchestra pit is created for musicians to accompany either a theatre performance or a Broadway show.

The 200-seat black box theatre in the complex doubles as a rehearsal room and is the site of a range of community events, rehearsals, recitals, drama, and dance.

  • Client: The Clay Center
  • Architect: Calloway Johnson Moore West
  • Completion Year: 2003
  • Location: Charleston, West Virginia
  • Acoustician: Jaffe Holden Acoustics
  • Building Size: 227,000 s.f.
  • Capacity: 1,883 seats


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