Handel Center for the Performing Arts

This new performing arts center for the Hartt School of the University of Hartford is housed in a collection of industrial buildings designed by Albert Kahn that were built in 1928 for General Motors and used most recently as an automobile dealership. The complex had been abandoned for several years and was in near-collapse at the start of the project, but the large clear-span industrial spaces seemed ideal for dance, music and theater studios. A complete restructuring of the buildings and site was undertaken, resulting in a state-of-the-art performance center for this nationally-acclaimed music school.

The complex comprises almost 72,000 square feet in three rehabilitated industrial buildings, providing spaces designed for vocal, dance, theatre, and community programs. It includes two performance spaces, rehearsal and recital rooms, dance studios, teaching and office space, a performance library, classrooms, a scene shop, costume shop, community space, bank and café.

The completion of this project also initiated other projects in the area that inspired the stabilization and rehabilitation of the Upper Albany commercial district of Hartford.


University of Hartford




Construction period 16 months, completion in 2008

University of Hartford – PAC Night

University of Hartford – PAC Interior

  • University of Hartford – PAC Interior
  • University of Hartford – PAC Corner Building