2018 Renewal Process and How to Get Involved


Thursday, August 30, 5:30-7:30pm Memorial Auditorium Public Workshop, Contois Auditorium, City Hall, 149 Church Street, Burlington
We want to hear from you… in person! Workshop #1 will be a city-wide community dialogue. We will focus on building on the survey results by further developing and narrowing the potential uses for Memorial Auditorium, including rehabilitation options. This workshop will be hosted by the Community and Economic Development Office, Planning and Zoning, Burlington City Arts and other City departments. Please join us!

For more information and history about Memorial Auditorium please visit this website: https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/CEDO/Memorial-Auditorium

Special accommodation requests please callCEDO 802-865-7144.


Memorial Auditorium – Survey Results

On Thursday, August 23, from 5:30-7:30pmThe Center for Research & Public Policy (CRPP) of Waterbury, VT, presented the following survey results: CRPP Survey Results Presentation - 8.23.2018


What will the future of Memorial Auditorium look like? What will it be used for and how will it be operated? Our process to determine this will be guided by the community, planBTV, planBTV Downtown & Waterfront, and the Administration, and be guided by principles that include equity, participation, and transparency.  

We heard from the community…

Over the past 20 to 30 years, the City’s Administrations and the community have worked to keep Memorial Auditorium open and active, as can be seen by the reports, design charrettes, and ideas collected in the pages below. In September 2017, an All Wards NPA meeting was also held concerning Memorial Auditorium. Here, two resolutions were passed: one advising City Council and the Mayor to maintain Memorial Auditorium as a publicly-owned community commons; and the second to empower and honor an NPA-led public process to determine future uses of Memorial. Throughout these public engagement processes, it was clear that restoring the building and preserving the use of Memorial as a public assembly space continue to be priorities to the community. 


We heard from the Mayor…

In December 2017, Mayor Weinberger issued a memorandum to the City Council noting that Memorial Auditorium has had a long history of serving as a valuable community assembly space, and that there is great interest in knowing the City’s plans for determining how best to rehabilitate and steward this historic building for future generations to enjoy. In this memo, Mayor Weinberger outlined his proposed next steps to bring the building back to life:

  • Create an adaptive reuse plan for Memorial Auditorium to remain a publicly-owned, public assembly space with input from stakeholders and members of the public.
  • Create conceptual designs, construction pricing, and financing options for this adaptive re-use plan that reflects that feedback and provides details on the cost and possible sources of funds.
  • Complete this plan so that it can be considered by the Council for a November 2018 ballot item.


planBTV Downtown & Waterfront discusses Memorial Auditorium…

In the Main Street section, planBTV Downtown & Waterfront notes that the re-development of the block at the intersection of Main Street and South Winooski Avenue will help to act as both an anchor and gateway to the downtown. One goal in this section notes that this block could be transformed to create a more interesting and activated street, and suggests that the City should initiate a redevelopment study of this entire block, identifying physical obstacles and constraints, as well as potential uses/activities.


planBTV provides guiding principles…

planBTV, Burlington’s “Municipal Development Plan,” presents a vision for land use and development in the city over the next 10- to 20-year  period. It outlines goals and objectives for the future and is the principal guide directing land use and policy decision-making. In considering a future for Memorial Auditorium, it is critical that we be mindful of planBTV’s guiding principles: 

  • Support and strengthen our neighborhoods.
  • Concentrate mixed-use, high density development within growth centers including the center city, neighborhood activity centers, and institutional core campuses.
  • Long-term protection and stewardship for natural areas and open space.
  • Lessen the dependence on the automobile by offering a range of transportation choices.
  • Respect for the city’s architectural and cultural history.
  • Support long-term solutions over short-term fixes to community needs and problems.
  • Promote collaboration and cooperation through working partnerships between governments, non-profits, institutions, and businesses.
  • Increased participation in decision-making.


Gathering the information for decision making

To address and incorporate all of these considerations, CEDO is working with a consultant to:

  1. Learn from people who have been involved in the operation and programming of Memorial Auditorium in the past. See a summary of the key points we heard, as well as summaries of individual interviews. We will be adding more interview summaries as available. 
  2. Hear from people who are currently involved in those same activities today to understand their space needs. We’ll be sharing this summary of what we’ve heard soon. As we learn more from the public engagement process underway, we’ll expand and update the summary to include the thoughts and suggestions of more voices.
  3. Understand how other buildings similar to Memorial Auditorium are operated and programmed in other municipalities. See a summary of our findings. Here too, we’ll expand the list as we learn more.


Our process

  • Start with the core programming and uses that were in the building in the past or were suggested in past planning charrettes and meetings.
  • Consider other uses suggested from the public or through research on other such auditoriums through the country.
  • Collect input from the public through NPA meetings, workshops, survey, etc. on preferred uses.
  • Issue an RFP to generate estimates of what it will cost to restore Memorial to the preferred uses identified.
  • Outline options for operating the building with associated costs.
  • Develop suggested funding tools for consideration for public vote in November 2018.



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