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article imageNashville’s Ryman Auditorium set to get new stage

By Lynn Herrmann     Jan 30, 2012 in Entertainment
Nashville - The Ryman Auditorium, a cornerstone of musical history in the United States, is getting a face lift of sorts, with construction set to begin this week on replacing its stage for the first time since 1951.
“Artists cherish the chance to perform here because they know they’re following in the footsteps of their heroes,” said Sally Williams, Ryman Auditorium GM, in a statement on Monday. “Fans relish the unparalleled acoustics, the intimate environment and the ‘only at the Ryman’ moments that that are common here. By making this investment we are insuring that future generations of artists and fans will be able to enjoy these same experiences.”
The Ryman’s current oak plank stage, just the second stage in its 120-year history, was laid in 1951 and has seen such legends as Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and Aretha Franklin perform on it.
The oak planks will be replaced with Brazilian teak and will also see its load-bearing capacity increased from the current 40,000 pounds to 120,000 pounds.
Best known as the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 until 1974, the Ryman was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Also called the the Mother Church of Country Music, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2001.
Construction is set to begin Saturday, February 4, and is scheduled to be finished within two weeks. According to The Ryman’s website, craftsmen will work 12-hour days, seven days a week until completed. Daytime tours will be available during the replacement project.
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