Located in the heart of Fort Lauderdale, the War Memorial Auditorium Building opened in 1950 as a tribute to local military veterans and as a music and entertainment venue. In efforts to continue the historic legacy and invest in the future of the community, the Florida Panthers began a revitalization project to restore the landmark building through adaptive reuse as well as activate the area, creating a vibrant recreation destination. The complex is a physical manifestation of a conceptual village of individual pieces that represent the drivers and purpose of the project: Commemoration, Community, Performance and Partnership. Each of these zones overlaps into each other, creating opportunity for synergy and engagement to each other and active connection to the context of Holiday Park.
The War Memorial acts a hub and ceremonial front door to the multi-use complex. The renovation to the theater will create a contemporary entertainment venue that supports various events. The main level of the auditorium will be a flat floor to allow for flexibility to support standing general admission, tables and chairs or seated performances. Two bar areas will be incorporated into the main level and a new mezzanine level will provide fixed seating, premium box seats and two bars. The War Memorial will be restored to its original purpose and will provide a unique bond between the Florida Panthers and the many other uses of the community complex.
The complex will include buildings that serve the community and act as the new home for the Florida Panthers. The Panthers professional training facility will include a dedicated ice rink, locker rooms, training areas, team amenity spaces and offices. Linking the auditorium and training facility will be spaces dedicated to the community, providing a shared ice rink, concessions, event space and arcade. A public restaurant located between the two ice rinks will be a new hospitality feature for the community and will overlook recreational activities in Holiday Park. In addition, the facility will house a Baptist Health clinic to serve both the team and the public. The complex as a whole celebrates and enhances the architecture of the War Memorial, unifying all elements with a sleek linear appearance and geometric ornamentation to evoke a sense of repetition and order. The result will be a diverse complex that preserves history while investing in the future of the community.