Epstein Joslin Architects

Learning Spaces

The Sophia Gordon Creative and Performing Arts Center

Salem State University, Salem, MA

The renovation and addition to the existing 720-seat mainstage theater on the North Campus of Salem State University is intended to fully support its renowned Theater department, expand its cultural offerings within a new central hub of artistic energy, cross-pollination and collaboration, and place all within an exciting gateway to the larger Salem State Campus that exposes these opportunities to its students, prospective students and the broader North Shore Community. At its core, the “high-school-like” auditorium has been reconfigured with new rake, loge seating, balconies, systems and finishes into an intimate, flexible and distinguished regional theater. Updated building systems, backstage areas, front-of-house amenities, and handicap access greatly improve the quality of productions, theater arts instruction, and the visitor experience. An expansion on the north side of the theater, housing a confluence of arts activities, creates a vibrant hub for the cultural arts community right at the front door of the University. Together with other campus-wide functions such as a ticketing kiosk and cafe, this expanded campus crossroads will draw students into a much needed and exciting new gathering space where casual interactions and staged events are equally at home.

Drawings copyright Epstein Joslin Architects

Project Completion Date


Project Cost


Project Size

53,000 square feet


The Salem State College Foundation

Owner's Representative





Epstein Joslin Architects
Cambridge, MA

Alan Joslin, Principle-in-Charge
Elizabeth Nguyen, Designer
Nino Sylvia, Designer

Consultants for design team

Technical and Permitting: AECOM (Ray Porfilio)
Theater: Theatre Consultants Collaborative
Structure: Le Messurier Consultants, Inc.
MEP: TMP Consulting Engineers
Civil and Landscape: AECOM
Cost Estimate: Daedalus Projects, Inc.
Code: R.W. Sullivan, Inc.
80 Trowbridge Street Cambridge, MA 02138 telephone: 617-868-1766 fax: 617-661-1148