Chautauqua Institution
  • Western Plaza

    Western plaza

  • Back of the House

    Back of the house

  • Interior, West view

    Interior, west view

  • Interior, stage view

    Interior, stage view

  • Garden entry

    Garden entry

  • Aerial View

    Aerial view

Amphitheater Project

Recent letters from President Tom Becker with updates on the status of the Amphitheater project are available here, along with the project presentation delivered to the Institution's Board of Trustees in November 2014.


As of December 2014, the final phase of design, the construction-documents phase, nears its conclusion. Chautauquans have given approximately $27 million of the estimated $30 million needed for the project to move forward. The final construction cost will be determined by bids received. The total estimated cost of the project, including an endowment fund to ensure its ongoing maintenance, currently stands at $33.5 million. Chautauqua working with its owner's representative in anticipation of the bidding and procurement phases.

Following requests from some preservation groups and community members, the project's leaders agreed to revisit the recent conclusion to completely replace the Amphitheater roof structure. Members of the design team are thoroughly re-evaluating the safety, schedule and cost impacts of retaining portions of the roof structure in the final design and will know in a few weeks if any of the existing roof structure can be preserved within the requirements of the project.

In addition, community comments and inquiries on accessibility around and through the Amphitheater, with specific concerns regarding the removal of the red footbridge at South Terrace, led the design team to develop alternative approaches to accessibility and particularly the east-side landscape design at the back of the house. A revised design is in progress.


Study Group Report

The Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater Study prepared by the Amphitheater Study Group was delivered to the Board of Trustees on Nov. 5, 2011 and was reviewed in detail at the trustees’ retreat in February 2012.

Amphitheater Study Group Contact

Any questions regarding the work of the Amphitheater Study Group may be directed to John Shedd, Architecture and Land Use Regulations Administrator and Capital Projects Manager, at (716) 357-6246 or



The Chautauqua Institution Strategic Plan (2010-2018), as adopted by the Board of Trustees, identifies the
goal of rehabilitating facilities
that are critical to program presentation, including
the Amphitheater.


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Jordan Steves
Director of Communications