The John H. Mulroy Civic Center, completed in 1976, contains a 2117-seat concert hall, a 463-seat studio theater and a 300-seat community room. With superb acoustics, it is an ideal performance space for symphony and opera. Many touring Broadway shows and national recording artists perform at the Civic Center.
On January 15, 1976 Onondaga County officials dedicated the Onondaga County Civic Center, the complex that would centralize Onondaga County government and enhance performing arts offerings to residents.
Opening night in Crouse Hinds Theater at the John H. Mulroy Civic Center
On opening night, Ella Fitzgerald belted out her famous jazz numbers to a sold out crowd of 2,117.
Ella Fitzgerald performing at the John H. Mulroy Civic Center on opening night
Three days later, the official community opening occurred on Super Bowl Sunday. Twelve thousand people ignored the football game and braved zero degree temperatures to visit the new facility. When Onondaga County Executive John H. Mulroy announced his retirement in 1987, officials renamed the Civic Center to honor him.
Local artist, Betty Munro, came just about every day to record the construction progress during 1974-1975. Wearing a hard hat, and using her paint, paper, and brushes, Betty Munro visually chronicled the erection of the building with 27 watercolor paintings collectively known as Record of a Dream Come True. This illustrative account is now part of the artwork collection at the Onondaga Historical Association.
Betty Munro painting in downtown Syracuse
A Betty Munro painting looking north on Montgomery Street
A Betty Munro painting of Hanover Square