Charlotte Colisuem and Ovens
2700 E. Independence Boulevard
auditorium and arena complex is composed of two buildings, both designed
by Odell and Associates, and connected by a landscaped plaza and a shared
parking lot to the rear of the two buildings.
Today the buildings are known as Ovens Auditorium and Independence
front of the auditorium is a circular drive and rectangular pool with
fountains. The exterior of
auditorium is concrete with rectangular tile, and aluminum windows and
doors. Wood panels with
projecting vertical wood slats or battens are on many walls, including the
walls of the box office and cloak room, and the base of the stage. Rectangular blue tile, like that on the exterior, is used in
the lobby, mezzanine, and the rear wall of the auditorium.
In the auditorium, a balcony is cantilevered out over the lower
section. The lobby has a
terrazzo floor, large expanses of windows, and an open staircase with wood
and metal railings, leading up to the mezzanine floor.
The mezzanine level overlooks the lobby and retains what appear to
be a few original benches. The concession bar is a recent alteration.
coliseum is a large circular building next to the auditorium, and at the
time of its construction, was the largest dome in the world.
The exterior is concrete, steel, and glass.
The interior is arranged around the centrally located arena floor,
or performance area. Wood and
metal flip-down seat ascend up from the floor.
The ceiling of the arena is the underside of the dome and has
exposed beams and other structural members.
Surrounding the actual arena area are corridors with steel, glass
and tile walls.
coliseum and auditorium are exceptional examples of Modernist design by an
important local architect. They maintain a high level of integrity.