The Mann Center dates to 1935 when a bandshell and amphitheater known as the Robin Hood Dell were constructed in East Fairmount Park to be the summer home of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 1976, a new home for the Orchestra, The Mann Center for the Performing Arts was created in response to the need for better weather protection for outdoor entertainment. Today, the Mann Center is Philadelphia’s premier summer venue and is among the largest and most well known in the country. It offers performances in musical theater, opera and dance as well as popular and classical music.With the increasing importance of parking, ease of access, sophisticated food offerings and other personal services to the public, the Mann Center has turned its attention to making the experience more compelling to its patrons. A new Master Plan was commissioned in 2002 to examine ways of enriching the Mann experience and propelling it to world-class status.MGA Partners was commissioned to make comprehensive recommendations for the improvement of the Mann Center’s physical facilities. The resulting Master Plan is the guiding document for phased improvements, a portion of which have been constructed including a new education and service pavilion.Better integration with the immediate environs of Fairmount Park is critical to the improvement of the overall experience of going to the Mann Center. New road patterns, landscaping, and a shift of lawn parking improve the arrival experience. An expansive grass oval organizes the space between the Mann Center and the historic Centennial landscape and makes the venue more ‘readable’ to visitors. Arrival at the Mann Center will occur at a higher elevation, enabling visitors to walk directly to seats under the pavilion roof. A generous entry plaza, ticketing, concessions and visitor services replaces small entryways at the base of the pavilion. Once inside the main gate, an empty hillside is converted into a campus green, providing visitors with direct access to amenities at the top of the hill. New concession and toilet pavilions make hospitality services more convenient.At the top of the hill, an expanded entry gate, complete with parking and handicapped access, replaces the old, hard-to-find entrance. A promenade rings the existing lawn seats creating a new area for socializing and viewing the stage, while connecting the activities at the top of the hill to the campus green. At that point of intersection, a dining pavilion takes advantage of the commanding view of Center City Philadelphia.