Best Of 2018

Best Restored Medium-Sized Venue for Cultural Events: Memorial Hall

Best Restored Medium-Sized Venue for Cultural Events
click to enlarge HAILEY BOLLINGER
Hailey Bollinger

Memorial Hall started as a gathering venue for veterans of the Civil and Spanish-American wars back in 1908, adjacent to Music Hall and Washington Park. The Beaux Art structure fell into disuse as its antiquated physical layout — no air-conditioning, almost no restroom facilities and a stage designed for speakers, not performers — simply didn’t keep up with contemporary standards. But that’s no longer the case. Thanks to an $11 million renovation completed just as 2017 began, those shortcomings are history: Modern technology is now available throughout. On the second floor, the gorgeously refurbished jewel-box theater (seating 556) with Tiffany chandeliers is the perfect spot for intimate musical and spoken-word performances and movies; the spacious meeting rooms on the first floor are ideal for celebrations, exhibitions and receptions; and the basement studio has become a space for everything from business events to contemporary entertainment, including improv comedy. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine,