- BSO will utilize three floors of Nichols Block building for rehearsals, special performances, educational activities, and administrative offices
- Building including grand ballroom will be hub of arts activity downtown known as the Bangor Arts Exchange, with Launchpad and Bangor Ballet sub-leasing from BSO
Bangor, ME – The Bangor Symphony Orchestra is returning to downtown Bangor. Through a long-term lease with ANM Properties, the BSO will occupy three floors in the historic Nichols Block building at 187-193 Exchange Street. The building, with a grand ballroom and adjoining spaces, will be used for the BSO’s youth orchestra rehearsals, special performances, educational events, and new programming. The BSO’s mainstage concerts will remain at the Collins Center for the Arts. The ballroom in the Nichols Block, once known as Society Hall, was one of the original homes of the BSO after its founding in 1896.
“We could not be more excited to make our mark on downtown Bangor,” said BSO Music Director and Conductor Lucas Richman. “This new space will be a home for music, education, and artistic collaboration that we hope will inspire and engage all of Bangor, and it signals an exciting new chapter for the BSO.”
Joining the BSO in the Nichols Block is Launchpad, the Bangor-based arts incubator that currently operates the Central Gallery. Together, the BSO and Launchpad will operate the building as the Bangor Arts Exchange, utilizing multiple spaces for regular programming and third-party rentals. The grand ballroom—with a capacity of 185 people, a small stage, and unique architectural features—fills a void in Bangor and is ideal for performances, rehearsals, lectures, conferences, weddings, and special events.
Adding to the collaborative nature of the project, Bangor Ballet will be moving their office to the Arts Exchange, sub-leasing space from the BSO.
“The City is very excited about the Bangor Arts Exchange and the co-location of several incredible arts organizations in this formerly unused space,” said Tanya Emery, the City of Bangor’s Director of Community & Economic Development. “The ballroom has enormous potential, and the BSO’s move will strengthen Bangor’s arts and culture community while providing an incredible reuse of the amazing ballroom space. We look forward to seeing this exciting project move ahead!”
The Nichols Block first caught the attention of the BSO when it was purchased last fall by Adam Moskovitz of ANM Properties. After seeing photos online, BSO Executive Director Brian Hinrichs and Richman toured the space with Moskovitz. “After Adam showed us the building with this gem of a ballroom and we established the historical connections, our heads were spinning with the possibilities,” said Hinrichs. The initial visit sparked what would become a nearly 8-month long process of research and planning.
Launchpad co-founders Meg Shorette and Josh Gass were also investigating the potential for a new, bigger venue downtown when Hinrichs reached out to explore a partnership. In the current arrangement, Launchpad will sub-lease office space from the BSO and migrate their Central Gallery programming to the new building’s ballroom and gallery, while overseeing third-party rentals as well. In addition to the grand ballroom on the third floor, there is a 900 square foot brick-walled gallery on the third floor and multiple offices on the second floor. Most of the offices will be used by staff from the BSO, Launchpad, and Bangor Ballet, and two will be converted to music studios for rent. The fourth floor mezzanine includes an industrial kitchen and space for storage. An elevator provides access to all spaces.
“To have one of the most historic and longest running orchestras in the country be among the first organizations to locate in the historic Exchange Street block of buildings is an ideal fit,” said Adam Moskovitz, CEO of ANM Properties of Bangor, owners of the block of buildings. “This will actually be the BSO’s return to Exchange Street, as the group started here in the late 1800s, performing in the ballroom at this very location. The fabric and history of this community is important to us as a company, and that’s one of the main reasons we made this investment. We are happy to see that the Bangor Symphony Orchestra sees that historic value, while also seeing the benefits to being located within the activity center of Downtown Bangor.”
While the Nichols Block is remarkably well preserved, the BSO is raising funds to make improvements to the space and to purchase musical equipment for the Bangor Symphony Youth Orchestras to rehearse there. September 1st is the tentative move in date, and announcements regarding grand opening events and programming for the year ahead will follow over the summer. Immediate inquiries for rental information may be addressed to info@BangorArtsExchange.org.
- Members of the press are invited to a private preview at 193 Exchange Street on Friday, June 23, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. Please RSVP at https://goo.gl/forms/ZhgqeKsUWKXaqM522
- Photos of the Nichols Block may be downloaded via Dropbox at