City Center

The former Mecca Temple was built in 1924 for the Ancient Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, “The Shriners.” The Moorish-inspired design was the work of Harry Percy Knowles, himself a Shriner.  After foreclosure of the property in 1942, the City Center of Music and Drama, was officially organized under the aegis of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.  Unfortunately, over the decades, the venerable performing arts center painted over many of the intricate polychromatic finishes of the auditorium and lobbies. Ennead Architects undertook a major renovation of the center in the 21st century, with Li/Saltzman serving as the Preservation Consultants.  The conservation and restoration of the highly decorative interior finishes has helped to re-establish City Center’s historic grandeur.