Levitt Shell Design Unveiled as Excitement Builds for Downtown Outdoor Amphitheater

Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation, in conjunction with the Friends of Levitt Shell Sioux Falls, today unveiled the design plans for the Levitt Shell to be constructed in Falls Park West. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2018 with the first public performance in 2019.

The Falls Park West and Levitt Shell project will feature a covered outdoor amphitheater and a gently sloping lawn seating area, that faces south looking toward downtown. The design of the stage cover and shell incorporates soft undulating lines that complement the adjacent river. Plans include state-of-the-art sound and lighting, and a large video board near the stage for enhanced viewing. Other features to be created with the project include; support facilities, connective pathways, landscaping, open green spaces, architectural elements, signage, and more.

The Friends of Levitt Shell Sioux Falls nonprofit board began in 2012. Board members have been part of the City’s design committee from the beginning and are thrilled with the venue designs.

“We are excited about how Levitt at the Falls captures the look and feel of the birthplace of Sioux Falls, the Falls. It is a beautiful design that meets the national standards of Levitt and also captures the unique identity of Sioux Falls,” says Friends of Levitt Shell Sioux Falls Board Chair Jennifer Kirby.

Levitt at the Falls will offer thousands of residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy approximately 50 free, professional concerts annually. Artists from all across the region and others throughout the country, representing multiple genres, will draw people of all ages. All concerts will be family-friendly.

“The Levitt Shell will be another feather in our quality-of-life “hat” here in Sioux Falls. We are excited for the opportunity to be part of this project and to enhance our already vibrant downtown,” states Don Kearney, Director of Parks and Recreation.

The national Levitt Foundation will grant Friends of Levitt $500,000 toward construction costs and significant operational support going forward. In addition to providing design and site development at Falls Park West, the City of Sioux Falls will retain ownership of the venue and land as well as provide maintenance for the grounds.

The estimated $4.6 million project will be funded by a combination of City contributions and funding from the national Levitt Foundation and the Friends of Levitt Shell Sioux Falls. Levitt at the Falls kicked off a $1.06 million Chamber Community Appeals-approved campaign on November 1, 2016, and the campaign will end March 31, 2017. The plan will come to fruition when the first performance takes place in 2019.

“We are grateful to the Mayor, the City Council, the Parks and Recreation Board, the design team, donors, and the architect for everyone’s effort to move this project forward. Our group is in the middle of fundraising now to meet our financial obligations to this important project. We have had much success so far, but also have more work to do,” says Kirby.

The overarching goal of this partnership is to build community through music, which will also energize downtown Sioux Falls. Currently, the Levitt organization has six permanent venues including: Westport, CT; Pasadena, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Arlington, TX; Memphis, TN; and Bethlehem, PA. Levitt will be expanding over the next couple of years to Denver, CO; Dayton, OH; Houston, TX; and of course, Sioux Falls, SD.

Levitt at the Falls will welcome Sioux Falls’ diverse communities, foster social interactions among people of all ages and backgrounds, and ensure access to the performing arts to everyone. For more information about the project, visit www.siouxfalls.org/parks or call 605-367-8222.