The institute located on Chautauqua Lake in New York southwest corner plans to spend $30 million to tear down most of the 120-year-old outdoor theater and build a new one that would increase seating capacity from just over 4,000 to 4,500. Bids for the project go out next week.
The Buffalo News reports that the State Historic Preservation Office sent a letter to the institution last week asking that it back away from the plan.
Preservation groups are opposed to the plan to demolish the National Historic Landmark.
Lectures by leading political figures and performances by national acts are held in the amphitheater during the institution’s annual nine-week summer season.
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