Shreveport celebrated the reopening of its municipal auditorium Thursday.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -
It was a major party in downtown Shreveport Thursday night, for the grand re-opening and open house of the historic Municipal Auditorium.
It culminated a full year of nearly six million dollars in renovations which included everything from new seating and painting to air conditioning and electrical wiring.
The ultimate goal, according to architect Mike McSwain, is to have visitors not even notice the improvements: "Because this is a historic property, we tried to bring it back in every way to the way that it was, even though we had to modernize it.
"We had to meet the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance. But, everything that we did we asked one simple question: Is that the way it would have been done originally," McSwain said.
A 2011 bond issue helped pay for the majority of the project, with help from state historic tax credits.
The big celebration got underway shortly before 5 p.m. with a Mike Tyson look-a-like walking into a makeshift boxing ring set up in the center of the auditorium. He then introduced Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover.
Glover thanked those involved in the renovation effort, before taking part in the official ribbon cutting ceremony, which included a smoke and light show and a confetti cannon.
The Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC), which organized the re-opening event, hosted tours and an open house until 7:30 p.m.