Universal Preservation Hall is the Performing Arts Education and Entertainment venue for Saratoga Springs, NY. The restoration of the Saratoga Springs Universal Preservation Hall has been a true community project.
Thanks to a group of dedicated and visionary Saratogians who wouldn't let the space be turned into a parking lot—we have been able to restore the 1871 church into a true community space, adding to downtown’s vitality and continuation of a culture of the arts that Saratoga is known by. The 501(c)(3) organization, Universal Preservation Hall (“UPH”), is working to transform this gem of a historic building; generate commerce for downtown and surrounding businesses through street traffic, patronage of restaurants and shops as the theater goers head to concerts of all types, lectures, dance performances, theater productions, film festivals and film series, corporate meetings, art gallery events, etc.
We have sought the advice of theater, conference and concert hall professionals for the 13,000 square foot performing arts space to make sure we will not try to be all things to all people, but a focused performing arts hall catering to Saratoga, and our surrounding community.
The Hall was built in 1871 and designed by renowned architect Elbridge Boyden and is one of the earliest and finest examples of High Victorian Gothic architecture anywhere in the country. Borrowing heavily from German and Italian Gothic Styles, Boyden created a remarkable structure. He contrasted the rose colored brick with light Ohio sandstone to define the pointed Gothic arches that frame the doors and windows and he used horizontal bands of this sandstone to unify the entire building. Inside, two walnut and ash staircases lead upstairs to the main theatre. The ceiling of this awe-inspiring room is forty-five feet above the floor. The balcony, which when in use, can seat two hundred, wraps around three sides of the auditorium. All of the supports that define the balcony and the ceiling beams feature gothic arches that echo those in the tall, abstract, Tiffany-inspired, stained-glass windows which dominate the room. The majestic bell tower, which is the tallest structure in Saratoga Springs, houses a 3,000 pound Meneely bell cast in nearby Troy, New York.