Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium
The last publicly-commissioned building by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium is named in honor of a former university president. Groundbreaking for the auditorium took place on May 23, 1962, followed by 25 months of construction. The building opened both on-time and under-budget in 1964 with a performance of the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy.
Backstory and Context
The auditorium is named for Dr. Grady Gammage, President of Arizona State University (ASU) from 1933 to 1959. The auditorium is located on the main campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, at the crossroads of Mill Avenue and Apache Boulevard.
The structure measures 300 feet long by 250 feet wide by 80 feet high. Fifty concrete columnns support the round roof with its pattern of interlocking circles. Twin "flying buttress" pedestrian ramps extending 200 feet from the north and east sides of the structure connect the building to the parking lot. The auditorium seats a total of 3,017 people pop on its main floor, grand tier and balcony. The stage can be adapted for grand opera, Broadway musicals, dramatic productions, solo productions, organ recitals and lectures.