State Theatre – Traverse City

The State Theater has played a vital role in revitalizing historic Downtown Traverse City. A fixture since the early 1900s, the one-screen charmer located just a block from West Grand Traverse Bay served as a treasure for generations of locals and a real destination for tourists over several decades. In the 1990s, the theater was forced to shut down, only to be saved by a group of investors dedicated to reshaping it into a non-profit and a lynchpin for the city’s main street.

In the decade since it’s reopening, the facilities have undergone updates that are both much needed and incredibly fascinating. When Susan called us to take a look at the building’s HVAC system, we really didn’t know what to expect. When we made our way into the inner bowls of the building, we were shocked. It was the same boiler that was installed near the building’s construction in the 1900s! And so, we got to work.

Keen designed and selected equipment that would allow the retrofit to take place with no downtime for the operations, which meant the theater didn’t miss a single showing. Our first challenge was to fit the tight space requirements of existing equipment, much of which was literally built into the building. The Q Pac fan array was brought down in modules to replace the old site-built 4000-pound blower. We used split coils to replace the old river water and steam coils. A little work and those slid neatly back into place.  We tagged in modern condensing boilers to modulate temperatures as efficiently as possible. All of the new components are linked together with Tridium controls. These tools allow for the ability to modulate fan speeds, water temps, boiler output, and ventilation air to accurately maintain setpoint and use as little energy as possible.

“We had been worried about our impending boiler project as we prepared for the possibility of a complete shutdown, until KEEN came in and worked with us on a great, eco-friendly and efficient system to take us into the future. Taking into account our 100+ year old building, KEEN masterfully brought a project to life that serves our patrons the best comfort possible. Their attention to detail and belief in community are only a small part of what makes working on a project with KEEN so great.”

Susan Fisher, Managing Director