558,000 ft2

Square footage


Total investment


Total savings


Playhouse Square is the largest performing arts district outside of New York City, comprised of five theaters with a total seating capacity of 10,000. As host to many major productions, these theaters depend on well-maintained, reliable, and effective HVAC systems. Our partnership with Playhouse Square began in 1992, when the recently acquired Allen Theater needed heating and the local chilled water provider retracted their agreement, a potentially disastrous complication. Led by Lou Joseph, a salesman who would become our president and CEO, the Brewer-Garrett team found a way to get the job done on time and within budget, and a relationship was formed.


Despite a lack of capital, Brewer-Garrett designed, delivered, and installed a custom solution in less than 12 weeks, which opened the door for a partnership that has evolved and deepened since its inception in 1992.

Equipment suited for every need
We responded by immediately designing and installing a new 600-ton chiller plant with distribution piping to serve the renovated theatre, Loews Office Building, and the Playhouse Square Offices.

Upgrading old systems
After the successful completion of that first project, we have implemented other significant infrastructure improvements to the Playhouse Square Center. The most recent project was the conversion from district steam utility to on-site steam generation. The on-site steam and hot water plants provide heating at the Bulkley Building, Hanna Building, and the Idea Center.

This program was designed to upgrade steam generation equipment, reduce operating costs, and add value to Playhouse Square properties.

Building Automation System Integration
Additionally, we have installed an automated system that will help Playhouse Square experience reduced redundancy and minimal downtime, while allowing the facility to schedule temperatures.

Additionally, for over 25 years, we’ve had the pleasure of providing HVAC services to Playhouse Square.

Assured Service Program
Following the successful completion of the Allen Theater project, our team showed Playhouse Square how our Assured Service Program would reduce the cost of maintaining five theaters and multiple office buildings by providing all necessary maintenance exactly when they needed it.

Furthermore, Brewer-Garrett guaranteed our performance by including repairs and emergency calls for one fixed price. We were proud to take accountability for our work.

Air Conditioning
Until the mid-1990s, Playhouse Square’s five theaters lacked air conditioning and were closed during the summer. Brewer-Garrett was selected to install the Playhouse Square’s first-ever chilled water system, which provided air conditioning across the complex—a huge game changer that meant Playhouse Square could now host shows year-round.

The Allen Theater was the last major theater to be renovated, with The Lion King slated to be the first show in the revitalized theater. Despite an aggressive timeline, we were happy to provide the work on time. The chilled water system was eventually expanded to include the Idea Center, a renovation that paid for itself. Additionally, we installed several localized heating plants which allowed Playhouse Square to abandon their costly reliance on district steam.

Our ongoing service program includes a full-service agreement for HVAC maintenance, tenant utility billing, and guaranteed boiler efficiency reporting.


We provide HVAC and building automation preventive and corrective maintenance in historic buildings that cover seven acres and two million square feet of conditioned space. We have also created energy savings programs to reduce Playhouse Square’s utility expense by 24.7%.