Permanent Chairs Take Their Places in Weill Hall

gmcchairs.jpegThe 350 temporary chairs in the Green Music Center's Joan and Sanford I. Weill Concert Hall will soon be a memory for the scrapbook, as the installation of 1400 permanent chairs is now taking place.

Each of the permanent chairs has been manufactured for its own spot on the main concert hall floor and in the two balconies, and are an important part of the acoustical design of the hall. Each chair took 14 to 16 weeks to produce and much of the work was done by hand by the artisans at the 200-year-old Fancher Chair company in New York.

Christopher Dinno, senior director of SSU's Capital Planning, Design and Construction, is overseeing the complex management of the project with a special team comprised of an ergonomist, acoustician, architect and theater consultant. The design produced is acoustically sound, comfortable and as beautiful as the hall that they will fill.

There are multiple variations of the chair depending on where it will be anchored to the floor - from individual chairs to groups of two to three joined together. These chairs are distinctive because they represent a rare combination of traditional wood mortise and tenon joinery with a functional and unique tip-up seat. The chairs are constructed of European steamed beech and are fitted with a maroon cushion.

Seats along aisles open with a gate on the side to accommodate wheelchair users and others with seating challenges. Some 1300 are anchored to the floor. Second row chairs in the first balcony will be taller to allow for good sightlines to the stage. Some chairs in the balconies will be loose to allow for more flexibility of arrangement. Aisle seats are equipped with special lighting.

Media representatives are invited to attend the installation this week. To make arrangements, contact Jean Wasp, media relations coordinator, at (707) 664-2057 or email

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