Three-Legged Dog Media & Theater Group was founded in 1994 to produce original works in theater, performance, media, installation, and hybrid forms. In 1997, the group moved to its studio in the Borough of Manhattan Community College's Fiterman Hall. On September 11, 2001, Tower 7 fell on its headquarters at 30 West Broadway. As a result of the loss of its space, the company cut nearly its entire staff and stopped production for a year and a half.
In August 2002, Three-Legged Dog committed to a 20-year lease on the space at 80 Greenwich Street from the building's owner, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. By last August, the group managed to raise $3.1 million toward the $4.6 million arts complex. The largest contributor has been the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs through the support of Alan J. Gerson, City Council Member, District 1. Other contributors have been the Luesther T. Mertz Advised Fund of the New York Community Trust, Booth Ferris Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Non-Profit Finance Fund. Critical financing has been provided by FJC, the Fund for the City of New York, and the Alliance of Resident Theaters, New York.
"We're hoping that we can work with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to put together a plan to finish up," said Kevin Cunningham, 3LD's founder and director.
Construction on the 3-Legged Dog's new headquarters began in September. Architect Thomas Leeser's design includes a curved glass street-level façade that will become a surface for artworks that can incorporate real-time action from the street, while at the same time allowing passersby to see inside the building. McGowan Builders, a construction management firm, is overseeing the project, and Buro Happold is the mechanical engineer. The project manager is Denham Wolf Real Estate Services, which focus on non-profit real estate projects.
The heart of the facility will be a 6,000-square-foot flexible performance and installation space that can be configured as a 199-seat theater with a 3,600-square-foot stage. The space will be fully equipped with state-of-the-art lighting, sound, video, and multimedia digital control technology. 3LD will also have a second 2,200-square-foot performance and exhibition space configurable as a 99-seat theater, a 1,500-square-foot rehearsal space, and digital video and audio editing rooms.