Powered by 100 years of history, the Howard Theatre—once a draw for Ella Fitzgerald and James Brown—is about to open the curtain on a new era. Located in DC’s Shaw neighborhood, this landmark building was a center of African-American culture known as “Black Broadway” for its vibrant jazz scene. Boarded up since 1980, the Howard Theatre has just been overhauled by architects Gary Martinez and Tom Johnson, who restored its regal façade and transformed the interiors into a state-of-the-art music venue with a $2 million acoustic system. Interior designer Michael Marshall installed sleek, black-walnut walls and Brazilian granite bars. “We wanted to revive the theatre while preserving its history with a 21st-century means of expression,” he explains. A restaurant and museum are now part of the mix.
ARCHITECTURE: Martinez + Johnson Architecture, Washington, DC. INTERIOR DESIGN: Marshall Moya Design LLC, Washington, DC. CONSTRUCTION: Whiting-Turner, Baltimore, Maryland. DEVELOPMENT: The Ellis Development Group, Washington, DC. PHOTOGRAPHY: Tim Cooper for the Howard Theatre.