Howard Theatre - CODAworx

Howard Theatre

Submitted by Dreux Dougall

Client: Ellis Development

Location: Washington DC, DC, United States

Completion date: 2012

Artwork budget: $119,000

Project Team


Marshall Moya Design

Interior Designer

Marshall Moya Design

Marshall Moya Design


Dreux Dougall

Marshall Moya Design


Marshall Moya Design was charged with the design of the interior public space for the Howard Theatre. Since the interior was tarnished from abandonment and weather damage, Marshall Moya Design preserved and restored the five original, decorative columns of the theatre. The firm also worked to conserve the layout of the historic interior, which included the same positioning of the balconies and domes. The interior design established a modern aesthetic as a compliment to the restoration of the exterior. Overall, the firm was able to create a design that united the entire venue in complementary design.


It was very important to integrate commissioned artwork into the Howard Theatre because it had been deteriorating from neglect for over 30 years. So there was relatively no historical fabric of architecture left. Our remedy to this erasure of the past resulted in the use of backlit photographic lightbox images of historic musicians and artists who were very important to establishing the Howard Theatre as a cultural landmark.


All of all the photographs used were originally commissioned by magazines, books, and historic media. We bought the rights from historical estates and found images within the public realm, i.e. the Library of Congress, and other archival sources.

Additional Information

The interior design was very important to MMD for various reasons. In the 12,172 square foot space, we also included a two-story theatre and basement, custom signage designed to resemble the interior style, custom café styled seating made of walnut and leather materials, and a hydraulic lift that allows easy movement of furniture.