From Misha Berson, Seattle Times theater critic:
Four years after an arson blaze gutted much of the Eleanor Roosevelt Building, a block-long Greenwood building complex owned by Taproot Theatre, the Seattle stage company is opening new facilities erected from the ashes. On Friday night, just before the premiere of the holiday show “Le Club Noel,” donors and other Taproot insiders will toast the completed $5 million construction of the newly christened Kendall Center, which contains a 120-seat black-box theater, lobby, scene shop, dressing rooms, administrative offices and a new concessions area, The Stage Door Cafe. (Taproot’s main theater, directly next door, was repaired in 2010 and remains in operation.) The Miller Hull Partnership architectural firm designed the new space, which housed four small restaurants before the October 2009 fire. The addition doubles the size of Taproot’s theatrical facilities.
According to Taproot artistic director Scott Nolte, the public will be able to tour the expanded digs at an event planned for early next year, with the exact date to be announced. In the meantime, Taproot’s new black-box space will be used by Inverse Opera for Handel’s “Messiah,” Dec. 13 and 14, 20 and 21.
Below are some before and after images of the theater, and a shot of the sleek new lobby: