El Teatro of El Museo del Barrio, formerly the Heckscher Theatre

Restoring a One of a Kind Theater on the Upper East Side of Manhattan


New York, NY


New York City Department of Design & Construction

Project Cost

$7 million


El Teatro of El Museo del Barrio, formerly the Heckscher Theatre, is a 599-seat theater restored to become a fully operational performance and educational venue. The space features a proscenium arch stage, decorative ceiling features, and 1924 murals with themes of children’s fairy tales.

About the Project

LiRo provided construction management (CM/Build) services to rehabilitate the El Teatro of El Museo del Barrio, formerly the Heckscher Theatre, on Fifth Avenue’s Museum Mile. Systems upgrades for the theatre and the 1920s Museum building was also included in the scope. All construction work at this cultural institution was required to be of landmark quality. The main project components included: replacement of the theatre’s stage rigging, stage lighting, sound system, control booth fit out, carpeting, and seating; upgrades to the performers’ dressing rooms; rehabilitation of fire alarm system throughout the building, including theatre and art galleries; installation of a new HVAC system, including new duct work and equipment for the building, theater and art galleries; and replacement and upgrade of existing electrical service and switchgear for the entire building.

Project Challenges & Solutions

As Construction Manager, LiRo was responsible for integrating the work of the various construction trades and maintaining the Museum’s daily operations, exhibitions and performance commitments during construction. LiRo designed a phasing plan that allowed the theater and the museum to meet these commitments prior to the actual completion of construction. This included the exhibition of environmentally sensitive artwork in the museum, which allowed the art gallery to meet committed cultural displays during construction.


Theater companies and local groups utilize the historic space as the theater plays a vital role in its community and surrounding boroughs.


Program & Construction Management


Cultural/ Civic