One of New York City’s most famous theaters is now sitting 30 feet above ground to make room for new retail and entertainment space to be built around it. L & L Holding Company is taking on this astonishing feat in the heart of Manhattan to transform this space into a modern entertainment hub, all with the help of Power Team SPX hydraulic lifts.
The TSX Broadway Project
The Palace Theater is a historical landmark, having hosted some of the most famous names in entertainment such as Liza Minelli, Judy Garland, and Frank Sinatra since it’s opening in 1913. For over a century, performers have considered playing the Palace a tremendous accomplishment and a sign that they had “made it” as an entertainer. Naturally, there is a lot at stake with this renovation. The TSX Broadway project intends to transform the Palace into the largest and most technologically advanced signage and lighting display in Times Square, all while still preserving the structural integrity and design of the original Palace Theater.
Powered by an impressive Power Team SPX hydraulic jack system, the 40,000-square-foot, 7,000-ton theater started its ascent in January 2022 and has been slowly lifting 1/4″ per hour to ensure nothing is shifted or damaged with the move. Construction is now underway to build a 550,000-square-foot, 46-story tower surrounding the Palace Theater which will incorporate a permanent outdoor stage suspended 30 feet above Times Square; the largest and most technologically advanced signage and lighting experience in Times Square; 10 floors of flexible retail space; and a luxury hotel.
The TSX Tower opens up a world of opportunity for the space, integrating a piece of Manhattan’s history into the modern entertainment scene. The revamped theater will now offer a range of shopping, dining, lodging, and entertainment opportunities for the 400k daily visitors of Times Square. The vision for the TSX Tower is exciting on it’s own, and the process of constructing the final project is unlike any other.
The Technology Behind the Lift
This remarkable project would not be possible without the advanced technology of the Power Team SPX Motion Control System (MCS). The equipment used to lift the Palace is custom built for this project, powering 136 hydraulic jacks simultaneously to keep the building stable. The Power Team MCS digitally controls the movement of the jacks holding the theater, keeping it level within the user specified parameters.
The Power Team MCS is most commonly used for lifting and repositioning bridges, and controlled movement of heavy equipment, buildings, concrete segments, and other construction components. It’s purpose is to regulate the precise movements of objects for internal stress reduction. When a large object is stationary—in this case the Palace Theater—internal stresses from natural building movement are normalized and non-destructive. When the object is moved, stresses are induced which can cause costly repairs and damages to the building. Essentially, the MCS system ensures that all of the jacks lifting the theater are moving in perfect unison to prevent any shifting and damage to the building while the construction continues around it.
The MCS-regulated hydraulic jacks, along with a new truss and a concrete ring built around the edge of the theater allowed the structure to disconnect from its foundation. It has now reached it’s 30-foot mark, which is the equivalent of the building’s natural third floor, and is secured in place with “super-columns” and poured concrete slabs. The build will continue throughout this year and is set to be completed early 2023.
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