Ohio University


Athens, OH

Originally known as the Amusement Building at the Athens Mental Hospital, the auditorium was built in 1900 and used for chapel services, meetings, movies, activity therapy, and recreation purposes for  patients. The decrease in the use of mental hospitals through the late 1900’s led to the decay of many of the buildings including the auditorium.

After the purchase of the grounds and buildings by Ohio University, the Ridges Auditorium (7,200 sf) was completely restored and is now used by the College of Fine Arts for performances, plays, concerts, recitals, lectures, and various private functions.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the historic restoration of the building included metal roof replacement, door and window replacement and repairs, handicap accessibility, masonry restoration, theatrical improvements including a new dance floor, stage lighting and acoustic panels, restoration of interior finishes and construction of new restrooms and dressing rooms.


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