The renovation of the atrium of the Times Union Center officially started Wednesday. (There was a ceremonial sledgehammering of some concrete steps.) Maybe you've noticed the construction work -- and the narrowing of Pearl Street -- there recently. That's what the activity's been about.
The $19.6 million project will enclose the atrium along Pearl Street to make it usable for events all four seasons, expand the mezzanine space, reconfigure the stairs and escalators, and upgrade the bathrooms. Also: The design includes a large vertical sheet of falling water and new digital billboards on the exterior.
The north side of the atrium is currently the focus of the construction work. The plan is to have it ready by next spring, along with the new streetscape, and then switch the focus to the south side. The arena will be open during the work.
The renovation is part of the larger overall plan to connect the Empire State Plaza, the new Albany Capital Center on Eagle Street, and the TU Center into a chain of spaces that can be used for events both small and very large (the NCAA men's basketball tournament, for example). The convention center is scheduled to be ready in March of next year, and the walkway connecting all three venues will also be enclosed by then.
Here are renderings, along with a few construction pics from Wednesday, if you're curious...
The renderings and pics are in large format above -- click or scroll all the way up.
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