Jacobs Performing Arts Center set to debut at Liberty Station in 2024

Jacobs Center for the Performing Arts
A rendering of the Jacobs Performing Arts Center. Courtesy of the NTC Foundation

The NTC Foundation on Wednesday announced a partnership with the Cygnet Theater in Old Town to renovate a historic building at Liberty Station and open a performing arts center in 2024.

The foundation, which works to preserve the Naval Training Center buildings in what is now Liberty Station, will work with the theater to renovate Naval Building 178 to create the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Performing Arts Center and Cygnet’s new home.

“This partnership is the exciting natural progression of Cygnet Theater’s steady growth since our founding 20 years ago,” said Sean Murray, the theatre’s artistic director, in a statement. “This new location will not only cement Cygnet’s long-term sustainability as a San Diego institution, but fill a significant need for a flagship theatrical destination and performance venue at Liberty Station.

“In addition to being the new home of Cygnet Theatre, we look forward to opening our doors to other performing arts community organizations as an accessible space,” he said.

Groundbreaking for the $38.9 million project is scheduled for spring 2023, and the project is 77% funded so far. It is planned to restore the historic elements of the building, as well as to integrate two theaters and support spaces.

“Building 178 is a cornerstone of the Arts District (Liberty Station) and as it develops into the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for the Performing Arts – – and home of the Cygnet Theater – it will be a true tenant of anchor for our campus and our community,” said Lisa Johnson, President and CEO of the NTC Foundation. “Our collaboration with Cygnet is an ideal partnership, as our organizations have integrated seamlessly into this landmark project that will bring a unique and highly anticipated venue to our city.”

The NTC Foundation and the Cygnet Theater hope to attract 50,000 spectators each year.

“Joan and I are thrilled to help provide this new performing arts venue in San Diego – especially one that is both a well-designed conversion of a historic Navy building and located adjacent to Gary High School. and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High-Tech,” philanthropist Irwin Jacobs said in a statement. “There has been a long-standing need for a live performance space for Liberty Station’s many artistic and student groups and we are especially delighted that this will provide the Cygnet Theater with a permanent home well suited to their needs.”

According to foundation plans, the venue will include two theater spaces – a 289-seat proscenium theater and a 150-seat flexible studio – as well as dressing rooms, green rooms, a costume shop and rehearsal spaces. and dedicated orchestra. Two refreshment areas, indoor and outdoor reception areas, and ADA accessibility are all part of the plan.

Built in 1942, Building 178 is one of 26 historic buildings under the stewardship of the NTC Foundation. Building 178 previously served as a recreation center at the former Naval Training Center, housing a bowling alley, dance club, retail businesses, and more.

The design will remove closed arcades, restore existing closed arcades and colonnades, and restore existing windows and doors that were previously closed. The project will also rebuild the entire northern part of the building, excluding the arcade, restoring it to its original design and allowing for the expansion of the basement where the new theater will be located in the foreground. .

City News Service contributed to this article.