ASU Kerr Cultural Center Gets Adobe Facelift for Historic Preservation

Preservation and maintenance work gives Scottsdale performing arts venue new vitality for the 2017-2018 season of shows. Adobe has been restored to original splendor. ASU Kerr Cultural Center is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is home to a season of jazz, classical, world music, theatre and diverse arts experiences.

Scottsdale, AZ, August 17, 2017 --( Preservation and maintenance work gives Scottsdale performing arts venue
new vitality for the 2017-2018 season of shows.

A beloved Scottsdale music venue, the historic ASU Kerr Cultural Center, has returned its adobe to a more historically accurate look. For the first time since 1993, extensive maintenance work has been completed on the historic studio and house, the former home and studio of noteworthy composer, violist and ethnomusicologist Louise Lincoln Kerr.

“We had been seeing deterioration of exterior and interior walls due to past maintenance techniques,” said ASU Kerr Cultural Center General Manager Tracey Mason.

Through the scientific expertise of Adobe Technology, LLC and adobe preservation specialist and President Reggie McKay, ASU Kerr aimed to restore the cultural center to a historically authentic state.

“This effort restores the original splendor of the buildings, while providing the very best protection against time and the elements,” Mason explained. “The beautiful, individual adobe bricks of the structure are no longer hidden behind an inappropriately flat façade.”

The goals of the project included removal of the delaminated surface coating and the filling and brushing of all voids and imperfections of the adobe surfaces using local, on-site material. It was a time-consuming process because the work cannot be done in temperatures over 100 degrees and works best during high-humidity times, said McKay.

McKay was the State Historic Preservation Office’s top recommendation for the work at ASU Kerr. “Ensuring that guidelines for historic preservation and maintenance were strictly adhered to was important,” Mason said. “Reggie is extremely knowledgeable in the history of architecture and the science of mud structures, especially in Arizona, so we were confident the work would be done in a historically accurate and mindful way once this company’s bid was accepted.”

McKay was honored at the 2013 Arizona Historic Preservation Conference with a Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor award for his innovative preservation work.

The identification of the need for adobe maintenance took place in 2010. Communication with the university side, including the Office of the University Architect at ASU, and the State Historic Preservation Office, began in 2012. The physical work started in September 2013 and was recently completed in 2017, Mason said.

“We are fortunate that the science of adobe maintenance has come a long way,” said Mason. “When our upcoming season begins in November, our patrons will be amazed at the new look.”

ASU Kerr Cultural Center’s 2017-2018 was announced Aug. 15. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Sept.12.

About ASU Kerr Cultural Center
ASU Kerr Cultural Center, a division of ASU Gammage, is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is the former home and music studio of Louise Lincoln Kerr. Kerr, daughter of engineer and inventor John C. Lincoln, was a noteworthy composer, violist and patron of the arts in Arizona. She built her Scottsdale home in 1948 and her studio, now a performing arts and private rental venue, in 1959. Kerr is recognized as a founding member of several cultural organizations, including the Phoenix Symphony and Phoenix Chamber Music Society. She was one of the first two women invited to join the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra in 1913.

Media Contact:
Stacey Bailey
ASU Kerr Cultural Center
Stacey Bailey