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Makeover mania: Houston concert venue to get a $4.7 million facelift with city funds

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Miller Outdoor Theatre canopy remodel rendering September 2013
Pin Oak Interests, in consultation with English + Associates Architects, will carry out $4.7 million-worth of capital improvements to Miller Outdoor Theatre. HC Company Inc.

Turning 90 and looking fabulous don't go hand-in-hand without a nip here, a tuck there. As a city-owned local institution that was established in 1923 enters its 9th decade, Houston City Council approved a measure on Wednesday that will add $2.79 million to a capital improvement fund.

Miller Outdoor Theatre — whose current award-winning 1968 design was refurbished in 1996 to the tune of $6 million — now has a total of $4.7 million to carry out repairs and renovations in three main areas: Address roofing problems, replace the main sloped roof with copper (which has a longer life) and install a mezzanine storage area. 

"These state-of-the-art improvements will ensure the audience's comfort and enjoyment of Miller Outdoor Theatre performances for years to come," Mario Ariza, chief operations officer for the Theater District Department of Houston First Corporation, which oversees the physical needs of the city-owned structure, writes in an email. "We're grateful to City Council for the funding."

City officials hired Houston-based Pin Oak Interests to carry out the design, alongside project consultant English + Associates Architects. A three-dimensional rendering of the proposal shows that it stays true to the original Eugene Werlin and Associates design.

Other recent improvements have included a $1.2 million undertaking that tackled accessibility in 2008, a $1 million landscaping upgrade in 2009 and the installation $1.5 million state-of-the-art sound system in 2010.

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