How would you upcycle the Orpheum Theater? WHALE wants to know!


Sitting forlornly by the side of Rte 18 lo these many years, The Orpheum Theater represents the Holy Grail of renovation in New Bedford to many.

She’s not making any promises, but Teri Bernert and her team at WHALE are conducting a community input meeting on the reuse, or upcycling, of the Orpheum Theater on Tuesday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.

The grand dames of theater adorning the front of the Orpheum – its famous terra-cotta faces – aren’t ready to receive visitors yet. So the meeting will be held at another historic south end spot, Kilburn Mill at Clarks Cove – which is well on its own way to adaptive re-use in a big way at 127 W. Rodney French Blvd.

Again, this is only an exercise – like NATO war games during the Cold War. There’s no plan to re-open the Orpheum anytime soon.

The input meeting is being done in conjunction with Roger Williams University, where Bernert also teaches in addition to being Executive Director at WHALE. You can find out more and RSVP through their Facebook event page here

Though she’s promising nothing, you never know…. Teri Bernert is well-known for pulling off miracles of restoration in New Bedford, as outlined in this terrific recent Standard-Times column.

She’s like the Indiana Jones of preservation. And hey – he found the Holy Grail…