Order lifted blocking Chautauqua reconstruction

Posted at 7:56 AM, Feb 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-12 09:34:26-05

A New York judge's ruling will allow the Chautauqua Institution to move ahead with plans to demolish and rebuild its historic open-air theater.

State Supreme Court Justice Frank Sedita III on Thursday declined to block the project and lifted a temporary restraining order obtained by a preservationist group.

The western New York arts and education retreat plans to knock down its 123-year-old Amphitheater and replace it with an updated replica with better access and amenities.

Chautauqua Institution administrators issued a statement saying the goal to create a renewed "Amp" that will carry on the facility's legacy has not changed.

Opponents of the project didn't immediately comment.

Countless notable figures have appeared at the Amp for lectures and performances, including Amelia Earhart, Ella Fitzgerald and Robert Kennedy.