During a summer when there’s a new change around every corner, there’s an exciting change happening in Downtown Arlington at the Levitt Pavilion.
Three years ago, just before Texas country music singer/songwriter Jack Ingram took the stage for an October concert at the Levitt, Baylor Scott & White Orthopedic and Spine Hospital CEO Allan Beck presented a check to the Levitt Pavilion for $500,000. Baylor’s check was matched by the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation with the goal to build something the Levitt had needed since it opened 12 years ago: permanent public restrooms.
With $1 million in the bank, the Levitt Pavilion’s board of directors and staff began 2018 with a capital campaign to make the facility restrooms a reality. In looking at the possibilities and thinking about the future, a hospitality suite was added above the restrooms. The Levitt concluded its 2018 concert season with a ceremonial groundbreaking for the project, and construction began the day after the 2019 summer concert season ended.
In just a few weeks, Levitt Pavilion Arlington will proudly introduce the new Baylor Scott & White Orthopedic and Spine Hospitality Center. The $3.4 million project includes:
- The Arlington Tomorrow Foundation Hospitality Suite
- Catering kitchen
- High-tech A/V system
- Concert-viewing deck
- Women’s and men’s accessible restrooms
- Family restroom
“The architectural design and versatility of the new hospitality suite makes the project a true show-stopper,” says Letatia Teykl, executive director of Levitt Pavilion Arlington. “It can be configured for a business meeting, workshop, wedding reception, cocktail party – you name it! We are ready to activate the lawn and facilities on a year-round basis and – exciting news – we already have a wedding on the books for 2021!”
During Levitt concerts, sponsors will have priority in using the suite for hosting their own private event. During a concert, if the suite isn’t being used, it can be rented by anyone for a private party. When it isn’t concert season, the hospitality suite is available for rent by itself or as a package with the Levitt stage for fundraisers, festivals and events, increasing how the Levitt is used year-round.
“We are so excited about the possibilities that the new Baylor Scott & White Orthopedic and Spine Hospitality Center will bring!” says Josh Hankins, Levitt Pavilion Arlington’s board chair. “We feel that it’s going to be a key element to add to the sustainability of our concert series, as well as our mission to build community in Arlington. The hospitality center will allow us to host additional sponsors during the concert seasons, but most exciting is that it will allow us to better utilize the facilities and lawn year-round.”
The hospitality center was designed by architects Ibanez Shaw with construction by J. Hutcherson Construction. Bart Shaw, architect, says the most challenging aspect was how to maximize the space and provide a facility that would be a showcase and enhance the vibrancy of downtown Arlington.
“The idea of putting a VIP suite on top of a restroom building was tricky,” he adds. “We needed to maximize the space on that corner. What separates this project from others is the type of project – putting a finished space on top of a park restroom.”
Shaw designed the hospitality center to enhance the look and feel of the Levitt stage and add to what he calls “the energy and drama” of the lawn. During concerts, that translates into taking a concert night and adding spectacular ambiance for listening to live music or hosting an event. It gives businesses and organizations a new option for meetings, retreats, workshops and receptions. Coupled with the new restrooms, it adds to the Levitt’s appeal as the site for fun runs and 5Ks, fund-raisers, events, and festivals.
“The Levitt Pavilion has been a destination for many Arlington and surrounding area residents and visitors. We all have great memories of our favorite concerts there,” says Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams. “The new hospitality center will only enhance the Levitt and the city’s state-designated Cultural Arts District, making Downtown Arlington even more appealing to those organizing festivals and events.”
For the hospitality center’s grand opening, the Levitt has plans for a ribbon cutting and tours of the new facility. Opportunities will be announced on the Levitt’s website, in its monthly e-newsletter and on its social media outlets.
“We cannot wait for everyone to come by and see all that the hospitality center has to offer,” adds Teykl. “We’re proud of the new hospitality center and the potential that comes with a facility of this caliber in the Downtown Arlington Cultural Arts District.”
Cathy O’Neal is communications director of Levitt Pavilion Arlington.