• The Music Hall
  • The Music Hall
  • The Music Hall
  • The Music Hall
  • The Music Hall

The Music Hall

The Portsmouth Music Hall (1878) is the oldest theater in New Hampshire, second oldest in New England and one of only fifteen theaters built in the 1800s that are still operating in the United States.  As part of a multiphase restoration of the Music Hall, EverGreene conservators arrived to execute a preliminary investigations for the restoration of the decorative finishes including the plaster, decorative painting, and recreation of a mural over the proscenium.  Once EverGreene began to remove the white paint, it was discovered that original, undocumented Victorian designs  had been buried under many, many paint layers.

Because the theater didn’t know the Victorian design existed…the cost for restoring the entire ceiling paint to its historical design was not in the budget. But, we had a solution.

We traced the ornament, and developed the color palette that would honor the original designs, and devised an economical solution to restore the original scheme. We hand painted portions of the Victorian quatrefoils and other designs actual size in our New York studio, replicated them digitally onto printed canvas, installed the canvases, and applied hand painted finishes and touch ups. The completed project resulted in an cost-effective solution to long-lost decoration.

Add to Favorite  Location Portsmouth, NH
John W. Merkle, AIA
Construction Manager
DeStefano & Associates
Friends of the Music Hall
Originally Designed/Built
November 2005 - September 2007
Historic Designation
  • National Historic Register
  • List of America's Treasures, 2003 (designated by the U.S. Senate)
  • Paint Analysis
  • Preliminary Plaster Study
  • Plaster Restoration, Consolidation & Repair
  • Paint Restoration
  • Trompe l'oeil
  • Sculpture, molding and recasting, plus installation, of plaster moldings
  • Stencling
  • Glazing
  • Metal leafing