The 439-seat Bucks County Playhouse was developed on the remains of a 19th-century grist mill located at the intersection of the Aquetong Creek and the Delaware River in the heart of the Borough of New Hope, PA. It has had a distinguished history as a pre-Broadway premiere venue since its opening in 1939. The building had fallen into disrepair and had been closed for two years until new owners, committed to returning the Playhouse to its original stature, attracting new audiences, and saving an important piece of local history, acquired the property.
Master planning for the building and site was concurrent with its renovation, and the Playhouse was reopened after an intensive four-month construction period in time for the summer season. Significant structural improvements were completed and the building’s exterior was stabilized and repaired. Accessibility and life safety; interior lighting and finishes; exterior lighting; HVAC; and stage, technical, and performance systems were improved. Mills + Schnoering Architects is currently designing a new riverfront lobby and event space to serve patrons of the Playhouse and extend the existing promenade along the river. The firm is also working to renovate and return the adjacent Playhouse Inn to profitable use as a twelve-room guesthouse and restaurant that will complement the activities of the Playhouse.