In a continuing effort to remove architectural and programmatic barriers to education, the MSU Department of Theatre, College of Arts & Letters, and College of Music funded a 360° virtual tour of the Auditorium Building, which can now be explored on the facilities page of the Department of Theatre’s website.
Designed by OJ Munson, construction on the Auditorium Building began in 1938 with funding from the Works Progress Administration. Known today by students as “The Aud,” the MSU Auditorium has since become a gathering space for students, faculty, alumni, and the great MSU community and is now one of the most visited buildings on campus.
This year marks the 80th anniversary of when the MSU Auditorium first opened to the public. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt attended the building’s opening ceremony, which was held in March 1940.
While the Auditorium serves as a storied example of MSU campus history, its grand architecture can be difficult to navigate; an experience that “can be disruptive to the accessibility of the building,” said Kirk Domer, Chairperson of the Department of Theatre.
“The Department of Theatre has a partnership with 4th Wall Theatre and they regularly visit the Auditorium to work with our students,” Domer said. “We know that for neurodiverse individuals, routine and predictability can significantly reduce stress and anxiety. We also hope that this tour will be an important resource for students, employees, and visitors with physical limitations, allowing them to more readily assess accessibility and visit the Auditorium.”
We also hope that this tour will be an important resource for students, employees, and visitors with physical limitations, allowing them to more readily assess accessibility and visit the Auditorium.KIRK DOMER, CHAIRPERSON OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE
The virtual tour video was created by Able Eyes, a local business whose mission is “to provide visual, state-of-the-art experiences/teaching tools for individuals with disabilities.” Techniques such as video modeling of real-life situations and virtual video tours provide a visual tour of a location prior to entering the environment.
The Auditorium joins a growing list of MSU buildings and East Lansing businesses to receive 360° virtual tours. To find a complete archive of all Able Eyes tours, including the MSU Library, Eli and Edythe Broad Museum, and Abrams Planetarium, visit www.ableeyes.org/360-virtual-tours.