Cleveland Orchestra Announces Restoration Work on Severance Music Center

By David Salazar

The Cleveland Orchestra has revealed that restoration work on the stone façade of Severance Music Center will commence on Wednesday, June 21.

The project aims to rejuvenate the 92-year-old building and is expected to continue until September. Crews will undertake various tasks, including cleaning the stone at ground-level entrances, coating light poles at the main entrance, and replacing damaged stone panels. Advanced laser cleaning techniques will ensure precise restoration of ornamental molding, while a protective coating on the cornice will prevent copper stains caused by rainwater overflow.

The Timken Foundation of Canton is playing a major role in supporting the $1 million capital improvement project, contributing to the preservation of this historic and iconic structure.

“We are delighted the Timken Foundation of Canton provided the underwriting needed to restore the stone façade of our beloved Severance Music Center. Their generosity will preserve the beauty and majesty of this iconic building for generations to come,” said Richard Smucker, board chair of the Orchestra, in an official press statement.

The construction of Severance Music Center, formerly known as Severance Hall, was announced in 1928 with a $1 million pledge from John Long Severance and Elisabeth Severance. The groundbreaking occurred on November 14, 1929 and the project was completed in 14 months. It was designed by Cleveland architectural firm Walker & Weeks, a company that also did work on the Cleveland Public Auditorium, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the Cleveland Public Library.