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February 24th, 2003, 02:52 PM

Performing arts center selects architectural team

NEW YORK (AP) _ Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has selected an architectural team of six renowned firms to redesign its 6.5 acres of public space.

Five New York firms and one from Philadelphia were chosen following a five-month international competition, Lincoln Center announced Monday.

They will begin by transforming 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue into Lincoln Center's "Main Street," making it more pedestrian friendly, opening up the campus to the surrounding community, and creating lively new street-level entrances, the center said.

Construction is expected to begin 2004.

The open space architectural team comprises of Diller + Scofidio, as the master planner, in association with Fox & Fowle Architects and Cooper Robertson & Partners. L'Observatoire International will serve as lighting designer and Olin Partnership as landscape designer. Also joining the team is 2 X 4, Inc., a collaborative studio of graphic designers.

"We have specifically chosen public spaces as an important part of our overall redevelopment process because everyone who works at and visits Lincoln Center will benefit from this design," said Lincoln Center Chairman Bruce Crawford.

The open spaces will be redesigned to fit with the $1.2 billion, 10-year redevelopment master plan for the center's 16-acre complex.

The master plan includes the rebuilding of the center's nine major cultural facilities, including the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera, and will be done in phases so performances can continue uninterrupted.

Only Avery Fisher Hall, the home of the New York Philharmonic, will close because it will either be rebuilt or undergo major reconstruction. A temporary music hall will be found for the Philharmonic.

The firms selected for the open space redesign and their past projects are:

_Diller & Scofidio, a New York firm that fuses architecture, the visual arts and the performing arts. Its major projects include the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the proposed Museum of Art & Technology in New York.

_Cooper Robertson & Partners, a New York firm whose works include Battery Park City in New York, the Henry Moore Sculpture Garden in Kansas City and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.

_Fox & Fowle Architects, a New York-based interior design and planning firm whose major projects include the Conde Nast and the Reuters buildings in Times Square and the American Craft Museum in New York.

_Olin Partnership, a Philadelphia-based architectural landscaper whose projects include Bryant Park and Battery Park City in New York, the Getty Center in Los Angeles and Yale's Old Campus.

_L'Observatoire International, Inc., a New York-based firm, whose public space designs include the Disney Concert Hall, the Bard College Center for the Performing Arts, the Louvre Museum and the Planetarium Exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History. It is currently working with Olin Partnership on the redesign of Columbus Circle in New York.

_2 X 4, Inc., New York-based graphic designers who have created projects for the Museum of Modern Art, Second Stage Theater in New York and the Mattin Center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

February 24th, 2003, 04:18 PM
any renderings???

TLOZ Link5
February 24th, 2003, 05:35 PM
I'm sure there were some preliminary plans in the architectural competition, but since they just picked a new design team from the finalists, a new design will have to wait.

February 25th, 2003, 01:59 AM

Lincoln Center Rethinks 65th Street

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts plans to start work next year on the transformation of West 65th Street into a bright, open boulevard of marquees, even though it has yet to raise any money for that project or any other part of its planned $1.2 billion redevelopment.

The renovation of West 65th Street will turn the block into a central artery of Lincoln Center and include new entrances for the Juilliard School; Lincoln Center Theater; Alice Tully Hall, where the Chamber Music Society and other Lincoln Center groups perform; and the Walter Reade Theater, home to the Film Society.

The 65th Street work will also be affected by what happens to Avery Fisher Hall, home to the New York Philharmonic, which has yet to decide how to address its poor acoustics. Center officials initially seemed to be leaning toward razing the building and starting from scratch, but now they appear to be pulling back to save money, favoring an interior overhaul that would leave the building intact. A renovation is estimated to cost half as much as a projected $325 million reconstruction.

Reynold Levy, the president of Lincoln Center, said the center had asked two design firms — Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Norman Foster — to submit proposals by May for a total renovation of Avery Fisher. "There had been the assumption that we could not make the aesthetic and acoustical changes we wanted other than by building a new hall," Mr. Levy said. "We have re-examined the program and are coming up with alternatives that we hope will be very exciting and will capture a great deal of what we wanted to achieve."

At the same time, Mr. Levy emphasized, "these are not minor fixes." The decision is complicated by concerns on the part of the Fisher family about keeping its name on the concert hall. Mr. Levy said Lincoln Center had been meeting regularly with the family.

The center announced a design team yesterday for its public spaces, to be led by Diller & Scofidio, in association with Fox & Fowle Architects, Cooper Robertson & Partners as planners, L'Observatoire as lighting designers, Olin Partnership as landscape architects, and 2 4 as graphic designers. "We're thrilled by having this combination of edgy new thinking about Lincoln Center," Mr. Levy said.

The design team's first project will be West 65th Street, the largest aspect of the $150 million redesign of the public areas and the first step in its effort to upgrade its buildings and grounds. Although the redevelopment has been estimated to cost $1.2 billion, Bruce Crawford, Lincoln Center chairman, has said that the figure could be revised downward, and that the institution was taking the project one step at a time.

Given the difficult fund-raising climate and city budget cuts, many arts executives are skeptical that Lincoln Center will be able to proceed with its redevelopment without scaling it back considerably.

The design team for the public spaces was selected after a five-month competition by a panel of board members drawn from the 11 Lincoln Center institutions that are participating in the redevelopment.

Diller & Scofidio, led by Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, who are married, is about to have a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, opening March 1. The team, artists as well as architects, has recently begun to receive major commissions, like the $37 million Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the Eyebeam Museum of Art and Technology in Manhattan.

Mr. Crawford said he was excited by the design choice. "They are really artist architects," he said. "The areas surrounding our buildings — I think you could call them outdoor stages. And we're going to design them to bring those stages to life."

Lincoln Center has long been criticized for being structurally closed off to the surrounding community, particularly the housing developments on Amsterdam Avenue. The 65th Street plan calls for opening the block between Broadway and Amsterdam, making it into a more pedestrian-friendly stretch that invites the neighborhood in with lively entrances for the seven Lincoln Center constituents and 12 performance spaces on the street.

The project will eliminate the large bridge over the street, substituting a new, narrower footbridge. The project will also feature technologically sophisticated signs with information about Lincoln Center events; the buildings will be clearly identified and transparent, allowing passers-by to look in at classes and other activities; and there will be a sweeping staircase into the plaza.

Construction is expected to start next year. Mr. Levy said that fund-raising had yet to begin and that he would be looking for large lead gifts. Also under the 65th Street plan, the Film Society would get two additional theaters, one, with 150 seats, where successful films could be extended, the other with 75 seats.

Lincoln Center also has yet to resolve the future of New York City Opera. The troupe is expected to leave the New York State Theater, which it shares with the New York City Ballet, and to be part of a new cultural center at the former World Trade Center site. "We're still very anxious and excited about the prospect," said Irwin Schneiderman, chairman of City Opera.

But given the slow progress of decisions about downtown and the difficulty of raising money for a new building in this economy, City Opera will probably stay put for some time. "I think things are headed nowhere," said Robert Wilson, who has pledged $50 million toward a new home for the opera outside Lincoln Center.

March 12th, 2003, 03:48 PM
From Architectural Record

Foster wins Lincoln Center redesign competition

March 4, 2003

Lord Norman Foster’s firm, Foster and Partners, has won the international design competition to redesign Avery Fisher Hall, the New York Philharmonic’s home at Lincoln Center in New York City. The other finalists in the competition were Rafael Moneo and the team of Richard Meier and Arata Isozaki.

The Lincoln Center’s board has not yet decided whether to build a new auditorium within the existing shell of the building or to build a completely new hall. Avery Fisher Hall opened as Philharmonic Hall in 1962, and was designed by Max Abramovitz. The hall, which seats 2,738, has been plagued by accusations of bad acoustics.

March 12th, 2003, 04:21 PM
Nice, I really like a lot of his work. *Still hoping his WTC towers are built SOMEWHERE in NYC. *Maybe at the WTC site - crazy, I know.

March 12th, 2003, 05:19 PM
well, Foster's WTC has been compared to the Hearst Magazine Tower.

March 12th, 2003, 05:38 PM
I still think we should try to get a message to Bloomberg, Pataki, LMDC, Libeskind and Foster to replace office towers 3 & 4 on Libeskind's plan with Foster's kiss towers! *It would be sensational! *

I think Foster's towers are very complimentary w/ Libeskind's crystal towers... *Imagine the Garden tower/crystal tower 1, tower 2, tower 5 with Foster's towers as 3 & 4. * WOW....

NyC MaNiAc
March 12th, 2003, 06:55 PM
yeah, that sure would be great. Foster's Towers we're really great, IMO. It gave us the iconic Twin Tower look while being completly different then the late WTC. Is there any possibility that the Foster Tower could still be built or is it really over?

March 12th, 2003, 06:55 PM
You know, not every thread has to mutate into an "if the WTC was done in this way it would be slick" thread.

March 12th, 2003, 08:54 PM
I hope this prestigious commission will be a bit of a consolation to Foster.

May 8th, 2003, 08:20 AM
May 8, 2003
Lincoln Center Proceeds, Modestly

When it was first announced in 1999, Lincoln Center's redevelopment was to cost $1.5 billion over 10 years and radically transform the campus. The architect Frank Gehry devised a glass atrium over the fountain plaza. There was talk of a new home for the New York City Opera in Damrosch Park.

Now the City Opera has decided to move downtown. Avery Fisher Hall is likely to be renovated rather than rebuilt. New York City, in perilous fiscal straits, appears unlikely to be able to fulfill the $240 million pledge that Rudolph W. Giuliani made for the project when he was mayor. The private sector is feeling the economic pinch before fund-raising has even begun.

What's left of the redevelopment project? What part of it can Lincoln Center hope to accomplish?

With the economic downturn, all the grand plans now seem like pipe dreams. The 11 private and public groups involved in the redevelopment have been forced to reassess. New management has come in at the top — Bruce Crawford as chairman and Reynold Levy as president — arriving in the wake of internecine tensions that had slowed the project.

The plan looks decidedly more modest today, and less glamorous. The center is taking the project step by step now, rather than attempting a transformation all at once. Mr. Crawford said he expected it to cost $500 million to $800 million, half of what was originally projected. Its most solid feature right now is turning West 65th Street into the main artery of the performing arts center, a project that together with Lincoln Center's other public spaces is expected to cost $150 million. It is to begin in June 2004.

Many of those involved in the project say that Peter M. Lehrer, the construction executive who became chairman of the redevelopment project in September, is unhappy in the job, finding himself a builder who has not been able to build anything.

Mr. Crawford said the diminished scope of the project merely reflected the economic climate, just as the original plans were a child of the flush late 90's. "It was really a time when grand plans were prevalent everywhere," Mr. Crawford said. "Wish lists were de rigueur."

But he and Mr. Levy said the reconstruction would proceed, because it was essential.

"This is not what we would like to have; it is what is necessary," Mr. Crawford said. "These are not luxuries. We're looking at it today in that light." He continued: "Lincoln Center's theaters and public spaces have to be improved and maintained. You can't go decades without bringing them up to date."

The redevelopment still amounts to significant changes, Mr. Levy said, not merely nips and tucks. The new 65th Street, for example, is being redesigned by Diller & Scofidio, the contemporary architecture team. "I don't think you retain Diller & Scofidio to simply spruce up the existing place," Mr. Levy said.

Mr. Crawford has assembled working committees for each aspect of the project, with members from the center's 13 various constituent groups, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Juilliard School and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, represented on each one. Several smaller infrastructure projects are already under way, like the upgrading of the Met's stage wagons, which move scenery.

In February Lincoln Center created the post of executive director of the Campaign for Lincoln Center and gave it to Rosemarie Garipoli, who led similar drives for the New York Botanical Garden and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Once design plans are established, Mr. Crawford said, he planned to look for donations of $5 million or more to kick off the fund-raising.

By all accounts the atmosphere at Lincoln Center is considerably less contentious since Mr. Crawford and Mr. Levy came on board, replacing Beverly Sills and Gordon Davis. Almost to a person executives of the constituent groups described the new management team as effective, with Mr. Levy as the upbeat optimist and Mr. Crawford as the levelheaded realist.

That is not to say that Lincoln Center is free of internal politics. When a recent benefit was being planned to honor Beverly Sills's service as chairwoman of Lincoln Center, Ms. Sills insisted that $1 million of the money raised go toward the Metropolitan Opera, where she is now chairwoman. The move ruffled some feathers, given that the proceeds — an impressive $4.5 million — were originally intended for Lincoln Center Inc., the center's landlord, with some of the money earmarked for the redevelopment.

Because of the city's budget cutbacks, Mr. Giuliani's pledge of $240 million no longer seems realistic. Lincoln Center received an initial payment from the city of $24 million in December 2001. About $14 million of that money remained, Mr. Crawford said. The city has asked that Lincoln Center spend the money on actual building rather than planning. "This is tax-levy money," said Kate D. Levin, the cultural affairs commissioner. "Some portion needs to be spent on tangible assets."

Lincoln Center has agreed to assume all planning costs as well as staffing the redevelopment and fund-raising. Lincoln Center will match the fund-raising of each constituent group, Mr. Levy said: 20 percent of the first $25 million raised and 15 percent of anything above $25 million.

Mr. Crawford said the city had promised $5 million a year over the next three years, with the contribution jumping to a projected $96 million in 2006, an unlikely number in the present economy.

Last summer Ms. Levin convened a Lincoln Center task force of the eight city agencies involved in the redevelopment, from the Department of City Planning to the Department of Transportation. The group meets regularly. "The city is enormously committed to it," Ms. Levin said.

While Lincoln Center still wants to improve the acoustics at Avery Fisher Hall (home to the New York Philharmonic), the hall is likely to be refurbished rather than torn down and rebuilt, as initially planned. "That is the road we really favor here," Mr. Crawford said.

Originally Lincoln Center executives said it would cost the same to renovate as to rebuild. Now executives say that that is not the case, that leaving the shell intact will cost half as much ($200 million) and take half as long (two years).

Keeping the hall's exterior will also avoid a showdown with the Fisher family, which has threatened legal action if the name of the hall is changed to accommodate a new donor.

Some Philharmonic executives may be skeptical of this approach, given that the hall's acoustics have been tinkered with in the past, without success. Zarin Mehta, the executive director of the Philharmonic, did not sound convinced that simply renovating would be sufficient. "If it costs too much, maybe we need to say, `Listen, it's not just good enough doing the hall,' " Mr. Mehta said. "Maybe we have to wait for the economy to get a little better."

Mr. Mehta said the board had no choice but to question whether to move ahead with construction plans in the current economy. "Of course it was discussed," he said. "Can we raise this money at the same time as trying to exist and raising an endowment for ourselves?"

Lincoln Center has asked the design firm of Norman Foster — who remodeled the Reichstag in Berlin and the Great Court at the British Museum — to come up with initial designs for renovating Avery Fisher Hall. Mr. Crawford said he expected to see Lord Foster's recommendations in about 10 days and to bring them to the executive committee of the Philharmonic and Lincoln Center in mid-June.

Across the plaza Lincoln Center has resigned itself to the idea of losing City Opera, which shares the New York State Theater with the New York City Ballet and considers it inadequate for singers. If the opera company moves — most likely to the former World Trade Center site — it is unclear whether it would remain connected to Lincoln Center.

For now Lincoln Center is staying out of City Opera's business. "They don't want to be in the New York State Theater for reasons they have clearly stated," Mr. Crawford said. "It's not up to me to quarrel with that. They make a very good case for that."

City Opera will not be going anywhere anytime soon. With the Lower Manhattan redevelopment plans in the nascent stages, a move by City Opera there is considered at least five years off. And questions about how the opera company could afford to build and sustain a new $300 million theater remain unresolved.

As for Lincoln Center's internal politics, many of those involved say they have markedly improved. One remaining sticking point is Mr. Lehrer, the builder, who is said to be unhappy overseeing the redevelopment. He was out of the country this week and unavailable for comment. "I can't deny there have been frictions in the working relationships," Mr. Crawford said.

Despite the uncertainties about the future, Mr. Levy and Mr. Crawford say they are pleased with what they are seeing today. Programming has been strong, they say, mentioning the Berlioz and John Adams festivals; applications are up at the Juilliard School and the School of American Ballet; and the budget is balanced. "The campus is thriving," Mr. Levy said.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

May 8th, 2003, 03:56 PM
I think it would make more sense to just wait until the economic downturn is over, rather than scale down the Lincoln Center project.

June 13th, 2003, 10:21 PM
June 13, 2003

Lincoln Center Redevelopment Chairman Has Resigned


In the latest blow to Lincoln Center, Peter M. Lehrer, a construction executive, resigned yesterday as chairman of its redevelopment project, calling the project wasteful and badly managed.

"A lot of money has been spent on planning with not enough to show for it," he said yesterday.

Mr. Lehrer's departure follows the New York Philharmonic's decision 12 days ago to leave Lincoln Center for Carnegie Hall in 2006, a defection that Mr. Lehrer said sealed his decision. Avery Fisher has been the orchestra's home since 1962, and renovating it for the Philharmonic was the largest remaining component of the redevelopment. Lincoln Center officials say they still plan to refurbish that hall, though not for one flagship orchestra.

Mr. Lehrer, who was named to the post in September, is the second executive to resign as chairman of Lincoln Center's redevelopment corporation; Marshall Rose, a real estate executive, did so in October 2001, months before he planned to leave. He was frustrated by political infighting that delayed the project.

Of the $24 million that New York City gave to the project in December 2001, Lincoln Center has already spent $10 million on planning with no shovel in the ground. The city recently asked Lincoln Center to spend the rest of the money on construction rather than on planning. The project, begun in 1999, has been scaled back by more than half from its original estimated cost of $1.5 billion.

Mr. Lehrer said he had been unable to accomplish much because of the management structure. "I came to the position with much enthusiasm and interest," he said. "Unfortunately, the position that I was put in did not enable me to have the responsibility for the management of the project or the staff."

Responding to Mr. Lehrer's resignation, Bruce Crawford, the chairman of Lincoln Center, said, "It's too bad it didn't work, but it didn't work."

A founder of the large New York construction management firm Lehrer McGovern, Mr. Lehrer said that he had experienced far fewer problems on far more complicated projects than Lincoln Center's. "It was easier doing the Statue of Liberty," he said.

Lehrer McGovern merged with Bovis to become one of the nation's largest construction companies, and has managed projects like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island restorations and construction for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and Canary Wharf in London.

Mr. Lehrer had also clashed with Rebecca Robertson, executive director of the redevelopment project, and demanded her departure as a condition of his remaining.

"He absolutely did not like working with Rebecca Robertson and told me she had to be replaced," Mr. Crawford said. "I spoke to the constituents, who said we should not accept that ultimatum." Lincoln Center's 12 constituent groups include the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet and the Juilliard School.

Mr. Lehrer criticized the management structure, in which Ms. Robertson, rather than the chairman, dealt with the city and reported directly to Reynold Levy, the president of Lincoln Center. "The chairman must be responsible for the executive director and the board must support him in that position," Mr. Lehrer said. "They must invest in that person the key decision making in the management of the project."

Ms. Robertson said Mr. Lehrer is "very talented and I wish him all the best."

Mr. Levy said yesterday that he was satisfied with the project's management structure and with Ms. Robertson's performance. "I'm pleased with our forward progress," he said.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

(Edited by Christian Wieland at 10:22 pm on June 13, 2003)

Jack Ryan
June 15th, 2003, 09:40 PM
I read somewhere that the original Lincoln Center project was held up for a couple of months by Leonard Bernstein and the producers of the film "West Side Story". Seems they made a deal and got them to delay razing the "slums and tenaments" of that neighborhood just long enough for them to film alot of the dance scenes out in the street. When you see that film, you are seeing a real neighborhood...no longer there. *

June 19th, 2003, 08:00 AM
June 19, 2003

Costs and Approach Disputed in Lincoln Center Redevelopment


In resigning last week as chairman of the Lincoln Center redevelopment effort, the construction executive Peter M. Lehrer said in a letter: "How this project has been managed, along with its lack of openness and divisive management style, has undermined the ability for it to proceed in a timely, responsible and cost-efficient manner. Control and oversight as to how money is spent are woefully inadequate."

In an interview yesterday Mr. Lehrer, whose company, Lehrer McGovern Bovis, has managed projects like the Central Park Zoo and Euro Disneyland, said Lincoln Center had made the redevelopment more complicated and cumbersome than it had to be. "This was not hard," he said. "I've worked on some of the most complicated projects in the world."

In response, Reynold Levy, the president of Lincoln Center, said he was satisfied with the project's progress and its use of resources. "I've found our work very positive," Mr. Levy said. "And I feel very comfortable with where we are."

Among the funds drawn upon so far are not only the city's initial $24 million contribution, but also Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's $15 million. Mayor Bloomberg, a billionaire who contributes to several cultural organizations, made the gift anonymously in 2000, when he was on the board of Lincoln Center and before he was elected, several Lincoln Center executives have confirmed.

In his letter Mr. Lehrer said, "Approximately $19 million has been spent for planning with very little to show for it."

Much of that $19 million has been devoted to Avery Fisher Hall — including travel by Lincoln Center and New York Philharmonic executives to evaluate other concert halls around the world. The architectural firm of Norman Foster had been preparing to make a design presentation to Lincoln Center and the Philharmonic on Monday, but the Philharmonic's announcement that it was moving to Carnegie Hall in 2006 scuttled that.

Mr. Levy said Mr. Foster's efforts would not be wasted. "We intend to pick up where we left off," Mr. Levy said. "Enormously good work was done."

Avery Fisher Hall is now expected essentially to become the new Carnegie Hall, devoted to a variety of groups rather than dominated by one hometown orchestra, a shift that has wide-reaching implications for the larger world of classical music and the future of Lincoln Center.

"What is it, and who are the constituents now and what does the campus mean?" asked George Steel, executive director of the Miller Theater at Columbia University, which presents traditional and contemporary classical music. "Is Lincoln Center more a presenter or is it a venue? These are the big questions you have to answer."

Jane S. Moss, vice president for programming at Lincoln Center, said she had begun to rethink Avery Fisher as Lincoln Center prepares to step up its presenter role. She handles programming of the Great Performers and Mostly Mozart series. "It isn't about scrambling to find bookings," she said. "It's about how does the new Fisher fit into the overall artistic vision of Lincoln Center programming."

Last week Lincoln Center considered turning Avery Fisher into an opera house to keep the New York City Opera from moving downtown. (The opera company wants to escape the acoustics of the New York State Theater, which was built for dance and muffles sound.) That would have left the country's leading performing arts center without a major orchestral stage. But after several days of exploring a City Opera move to Avery Fisher, Mr. Levy said, the idea had been shelved.

"The answer is no, for technical reasons and programmatic reasons," he said. "It would require a new footprint and have a cost that began to approach what demolishing the building would cost. This option is simply ruled out. We just wanted to exhaust the alternatives."

Mr. Lehrer is the second to resign as chairman of Lincoln Center's redevelopment project. Marshall Rose, the real estate executive, stepped down in October 2001 out of frustration with the project's internal politics.

In resigning, Mr. Lehrer said that the use of acousticians, engineers, architects and consultants had been excessive, a concern other critics of the redevelopment share. Among the architects involved so far are Frank Gehry; Cooper, Robertson & Partners; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Beyer Blinder Belle; Fox & Fowle; Olin Partnership; Diller & Scofidio; and Mr. Foster.

Mr. Gehry was paid as much as $1 million, those familiar with the redevelopment say, which at the time angered Lincoln Center's constituent groups, which said they were not consulted.

In his letter Mr. Lehrer said the preliminary phase of the redesign of 65th Street was "in excess of $1 million, which is grossly excessive and unjustifiable." Rebecca Robertson, executive director of the redevelopment corporation, put the amount at $395,000..

Lincoln Center executives said Mr. Lehrer and the redevelopment were a mismatch from the start because he is a builder, not a developer. Mr. Lehrer said he was fully aware of the processes involved on the front end of a project of Lincoln Center's scale. "You're always there during the planning stage, and it takes years before a project begins," he said.

Typically the so-called soft costs for such projects — pre-building expenses like design, legal fees and permits — run 35 percent to 40 percent of the total construction cost, Ms. Robertson said. She said the Lincoln Center redevelopment's soft costs so far — $18.8 million — amounted to about 1 percent of the initial expected construction cost of $1.5 billion. The project has recently been scaled back to about $700 million because of the economy.

"We are within or below industry parameters for this stage of the project," Ms. Robertson said.

During the redevelopment's first phase, from 1999 to January 2002, the redevelopment corporation spent $13.7 million: $9 million in city funds and $4.7 million in donations from individuals, corporations and foundations, including $1.5 million from Lincoln Center's various constituent groups like the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet and the Philharmonic.

In the second phase, which started in February 2002, the corporation has so far spent $5.1 million: $1.4 million in city money and $3.7 million in raised contributions. In addition to Avery Fisher, the money has gone toward plans for the Juilliard School, Alice Tully Hall and the transformation of 65th Street, which is expected to begin in June 2004.

The city originally agreed to pay for 16 percent of the redevelopment, having paid for 16 percent of Lincoln Center's construction from 1955 to 1967. Based on the redevelopment's initial $1.5 billion price tag, the city's 16 percent contribution would have amounted to $240 million over 10 years, the expected duration of the project. The city also established a matching arrangement whereby Lincoln Center would have to provide the remaining 84 percent.

The city has made it clear that it wants to see the remaining $14 million of its first $24 million installment spent on early infrastructure, rather than planning.

Mr. Bloomberg contributed to the project in response to a request from Beverly Sills — then chairwoman of Lincoln Center, now chairwoman of the Metropolitan Opera — those familiar with the gift say.

In an interview Ms. Sills would not confirm the philanthropist's identity but said that during her tenure the donor was consulted each time money was used for the redevelopment. She also said she guessed the donor was satisfied with the project's progress. "Nobody gives a donation and in that short amount of time expects to see a building," she said. "It was for planning."

Another $1 million was donated by the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation in October 2000.

Among Lincoln Center's 12 constituent groups — which include the Film Society and the Chamber Music Society — there is both concern and cautious optimism that Lincoln Center can make the most of an artistic turning point at Avery Fisher Hall.

"Architecture is destiny in part, and if you look at Lincoln Center and say, `What is it?,' it's those three buildings triangulating the plaza," said Bernard Gersten, executive producer of Lincoln Center Theater, speaking of the homes of the Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Ballet.

"That's what Lincoln Center was built on," he said of the Philharmonic. "They don't go quietly into the night. They'll be missed. On the other hand there's an opportunity. It means Lincoln Center Theater has to be better than ever before to help to take up the slack, as do all the other constituents of Lincoln Center."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

October 1st, 2003, 08:13 AM
October 1, 2003

$16 Million Is Pledged to Renovate Tully Hall


Lincoln Center has received a $16 million grant from the Alice Tully Foundation toward the renovation of Alice Tully Hall, the center's prime stage for chamber music and jazz. The gift, announced yesterday, is the largest so far by a private donor for Lincoln Center's redevelopment project.

The Alice Tully project is expected to begin in 2005, with a total cost of $56 million. It is to be part of the overall transformation of the West 65th Street portion of the Lincoln Center campus under a design by Diller & Scofidio.

Bruce Crawford, chairman of Lincoln Center, called the foundation's gift "a vote of confidence" in the redevelopment. James McGarry, president of the Alice Tully Foundation, said his organization had determined that the hall "was in need of upgrading."

The grant is contingent on Lincoln Center's raising two and half times the $16 million for a total of $56 million. Reynold Levy, president of Lincoln Center, said yesterday that he was optimistic that the center could come up with the rest of the money. "This is a significantly improved climate for fund-raising from what it was a year ago," he said.

Renovations are to include an extensive updating of the 1,096-seat hall, an enlarged outer lobby, and expanded "performer support" areas like dressing rooms.

Since it was first announced as a $1.5 billion project in 1999, Lincoln Center's redevelopment has been scaled back because of the economy. What the revised figure will be is not yet known because of uncertainties about renovations at Avery Fisher Hall, the home of the New York Philharmonic, which is considering moving out and merging with Carnegie Hall in 2006.

Alice Tully Hall was built in 1969 with a gift from the singer Alice Tully, a granddaughter of the founder of Corning Glass Works; she died in 1993. The Alice Tully Foundation, established in 1953, gives grants primarily in the arts, education and human services.

Tully Hall was conceived as the first major concert stage in New York City for chamber music. Today it serves as the home of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and a primary stage for performances and events presented by the Juilliard School, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Lincoln Center Inc., the center's umbrella organization.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

October 1st, 2003, 09:40 AM
I thought Jazz at Lincoln Center was moving to the new Time Warner Center.

October 1st, 2003, 05:32 PM
It is.

October 1st, 2003, 11:26 PM
Just read this thread for the first time. Saw that L'Observatoire International was listed as lighting designer, citing the new Frank Geary designed building at Bard College as one of their projects. I've been there, and the exterior lighting of a very cool facade was considerably feeble. One of the college staff told me that they are already pulling out & replacing interior fixtures in the rehearsal studios and that L'Observatoire International refused any input from them (the clients!) in the design process. Is this usual for such firms, or is it just because being French they know more than dumb Americans?

Freedom Tower
October 2nd, 2003, 03:55 PM
No, it's because they have no idea how to conduct business. If they were smart they'd explain to their clients why they are doing what they are doing, and how it would make it better. That is, if they want more business and don't want to get sued or something. I'm not sure if they would really be dumb enough just ignore any client input. Maybe you put dumb in front of the wrong noun. That adjective would fit more properly in front of the other nationality you mentioned, especially if what you said is true.

October 18th, 2003, 11:51 AM
"Richard Meier & Partners and Arata Isozaki came to dbox to make a series of photomontages and rendered elevations of their design proposal for Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. The images were used for their competition entry and presentation of their design."

All image courtesy http://www.dboxstudio.com/











October 18th, 2003, 05:00 PM
Curves in a Meier design! Its almost shocking. ;)

October 18th, 2003, 10:41 PM
No no no no no no no.

October 19th, 2003, 03:53 AM
Yes!!! This is great!!!
The city needs something like this, it dosent have many truly unusual buildings like this.

Im sensing that we are going to get some jello comments from someone though. or someone that connects it to the swiss Re tower in london.

October 19th, 2003, 01:21 PM
imo this building is quite gorgeous, but the presently existing facade is a better member of the Lincoln Center team, which is like a collection of old Cadillacs.

In any case, the hall's interior is a great improvement. With the balconies pulled away from the wall, the acoustics should improve.

October 19th, 2003, 02:16 PM
Meier had done curves before. The lack of white is somewhat surprising, but it was a collaboration.

Reminder: Foster was chosen.

October 19th, 2003, 10:21 PM
Is it my imagination or is every new project in manhattan designed to have an elaborate glass facade with the inner structure of the building revealed? It's starting to get monotonous.

October 20th, 2003, 08:57 AM
It might get monotonous when they actually start building the designs, but for now they can be considered exciting.

October 20th, 2003, 04:34 PM
I think the Meier/Isozaki project is very beautiful, with a very carefull design of the exterior and a nice treatment of the glass facades. But I don't think we have this necessity to destroy the harmony of the complex, which is after all a complex, made of different elements but united in a similar style. An Avery Fisher Hall re-built in this way will destroy all the perception of Lincoln Center.

TLOZ Link5
October 20th, 2003, 04:47 PM
I think the Meier/Isozaki project is very beautiful, with a very carefull design of the exterior and a nice treatment of the glass facades. But I don't think we have this necessity to destroy the harmony of the complex, which is after all a complex, made of different elements but united in a similar style. An Avery Fisher Hall re-built in this way will destroy all the perception of Lincoln Center.

I agree. Lincoln Center should be our Acropolis of Culture; everything needs to mesh if it's to be considered a cohesive performing arts center.

October 21st, 2003, 08:58 AM
Is it my imagination or is every new project in manhattan designed to have an elaborate glass facade with the inner structure of the building revealed? It's starting to get monotonous.

Thats this decades 'thing' like a trend in architecture. personally i think they're great. and there really arent that many in nrw york yet,

aol time warner
the one on 7th ave

October 21st, 2003, 09:09 AM
I don't think the new design compromises the cohesiveness of Lincoln Center's campus. The glass wall faces Broadway, not the plaza. It seems the plaza elevation is more consevative and in harmony with, at least, the existing facade of NYS Theater and Metropolitan Opera House.

March 29th, 2004, 01:19 AM
March 29, 2004

Mayor Takes a Tough Stance on Funds for Lincoln Center


In 2001 Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani committed $24 million a year to Lincoln Center's redevelopment over the next decade. But since taking office in 2002, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has delayed fully granting these annual payments, giving priority to projects that are under way.

For the next fiscal year Mr. Bloomberg's preliminary budget has reduced Lincoln Center's $24 million allotment to $5 million.

Testifying about the budget before the City Council this month, Kate D. Levin, the city's cultural affairs commissioner, said, "All projects currently under construction were spared."

Ms. Levin also recently told Lincoln Center that the city would start to enforce the contractual obligations of its 34 cultural properties — including the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center — to pay for their own structural improvements, known as capital maintenance. The city has contributed $7.7 million to the State Theater's capital maintenance during the last 14 years, according to the Cultural Affairs Department.

Ms. Levin made clear to Lincoln Center that such renovations — in this case replacing the State Theater's travertine exterior and upgrading its fire-alarm system for a total of about $3.5 million — should be covered by the larger redevelopment project, rather than being financed as separate expenses.

In the past the State Theater applied for city money to cover its capital maintenance needs, requests that were usually granted. "The city is increasingly concerned about seeing that its properties are appropriately maintained," Ms. Levin said. In general, however, she has encouraged the redevelopment project.

The city's enforcement of the capital maintenance obligations comes just months after the Cultural Affairs Department told Lincoln Center that it wanted the remaining funds from its first $24 million installment spent on building; about $13 million has been spent on planning.

City officials acknowledge that these measures indicate an increasingly hard-line approach toward cultural organizations, the largest of which is Lincoln Center. The redevelopment was announced in 1999 as an ambitious $1.5 billion overhaul of the complex, to which Mr. Bloomberg donated $15 million before becoming mayor. The project has since been scaled back, and construction has not begun, although Lincoln Center's redesign of West 65th Street is expected to be approved on Wednesday.

"For the redevelopment, the city put up more money than it ever put up in capital dollars," said a city official who spoke on the condition of anonymity so as not to antagonize Lincoln Center. "It is simply not possible to continue to allocate money outside the redevelopment."

Besides the State Theater, the other areas at Lincoln Center owned by the city are the public plazas, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and Damrosch Park.

Reynold Levy, Lincoln Center's president, said that he was sympathetic to the city's position and that he viewed it as a healthy wake-up call: "The redevelopment project does this all the time, forces people to face up to things."

But the companies that share the State Theater — the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera — are concerned that having to pay for capital maintenance with redevelopment funds will add a financial burden.

Under the terms of the city's commitment, Lincoln Center must contribute 84 cents for every city dollar spent on redevelopment. If the State Theater's maintenance is paid for out of these redevelopment funds and becomes subject to that match, the ballet and City Opera would have to raise the money.

Martin J. Oppenheimer, chairman of the board that oversees the State Theater, said: "We're very hopeful that, as in the past, we will not have to match our capital maintenance funds. As a city-owned building, there is no logic in having to match."

The ballet also worries whether City Opera will be around to share such costs in the long term, because the opera company wants to leave Lincoln Center for its own home at the World Trade Center site or elsewhere.

Barry S. Friedberg, the new chairman of the ballet, declined to comment.

Susan L. Baker, the new chairwoman of the New York City Opera, said, "We are in the midst of rather sensitive discussions with the city right now on this," and declined to elaborate.

To make time for these discussions, Lincoln Center called off an important meeting last month that was meant to kick off fund-raising for the redevelopment, which has been stymied by infighting and the slow economy. That meeting was rescheduled for Wednesday.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

March 31st, 2004, 07:53 PM
April 1, 2004

A Major Step Forward for Lincoln Center Plan


Lincoln Center's redevelopment would enliven West 65th Street.

The first step in an ambitious redevelopment of Lincoln Center received approval yesterday from most of the organizations that comprise that New York showcase for the performing arts. The vote enables Lincoln Center to begin fund-raising and construction on a $325 million overhaul of the campus's main artery along West 65th Street.

The vote, by the center's redevelopment board, was the first time the groups had achieved unanimity on the project since it was announced in 1999.

"This is a great step forward," said Bruce Crawford, chairman of Lincoln Center. "This has been a long and arduous process. I can say without any hesitation that the vote was unanimous and it was enthusiastic."

Lincoln Center said it would reveal the specifics of the design and a timetable for construction in several weeks. But in general the intent of plan for 65th Street, designed by the husband-and-wife team of Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, would be to make the campus more inviting. Currently the stone-and-glass colossus, nearly a half-century old, is set back in an aloof way from surrounding streets.

The project was first announced as a $1.5 billion, 10-year upgrade of the entire campus. Its improvements ranged from fixing the cracking travertine on the plaza to expanding backstage space for the New York City Opera to renovating Avery Fisher Hall. The plan has since been reconceived in light of fiscal realities. Although Mr. Crawford last year put the total estimate of the redevelopment at $500 million to $800 million, he said yesterday that the cost would be determined on a project-by-project basis.

The first phase of this grand effort is to improve West 65th Street. Now it feels less like a thoroughfare and more like an oversize back alley. A hulking overhang crosses the street, throwing much of it into perpetual shadow, and the walls of Lincoln Center on either side loom large and forbidding. Early redesigns featured bright marquees, a transparent bridge and a wide staircase leading up into Lincoln Center on the south side of the street. Representatives of Lincoln Center declined yesterday to confirm whether these elements remain in the plan.

The next phase of the redevelopment will be to renovate the main plaza, where the fountain presides, and Damrosch Park, the grassy area between the Metropolitan Opera House and the New York State Theater. These public spaces are also to be designed by the firm Diller and Scofidio. Mr. Crawford said that "building a consensus" with the 11 participating constituent groups — among them the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera — had been difficult. "These are diverse and separate organizations," he said.

Reynold Levy, the president of Lincoln Center, said that the vote indicates that conflicts are behind them. "It's a vote of confidence on the part of the constituents in the future of Lincoln Center," he said. "This is a major fund-raising project."

The overhaul has been complicated and occasionally interrupted by the economic downturn, the attack on the World Trade Center and internal complications like the New York Philharmonic's aborted merger with Carnegie Hall last summer.

Despite the unanimity of the board's vote, Mr. Crawford later acknowledged that language had been added to the resolution yesterday, at the Metropolitan Opera's behest, directing that the board vote again before construction begins. "The Met wanted to be sure that the language was unambiguous," Mr. Crawford said.

The Met had previously opposed aspects of the redevelopment, most recently objecting to a proposal to eliminate access to Lincoln Center's parking garage from 65th Street. The Met's general manager, Joseph Volpe, said he believed that rerouting traffic would inconvenience operagoers. When asked his reaction to the vote, Mr. Volpe said Lincoln Center officials asked him not to comment.

In a joint interview at Lincoln Center yesterday, Mr. Crawford and Mr. Levy said that access to the garage on 65th Street had been written into the resolution. "I think in the process we addressed Joe's concerns and alleviated them," Mr. Crawford said.

Those around the table yesterday included groups with entrances on 65th Street, including the Juilliard School, the Lincoln Center Film Society and Lincoln Center Theater, as well as those more indirectly affected.

"Everyone around the table today has a stake," Mr. Levy said. "Everyone on the campus will be affected in one way or another."

The vote means that the city can begin its formal review process. Kate D. Levin, the cultural affairs commissioner, attended yesterday's meeting, along with Patricia E. Harris, the deputy mayor for administration who oversees culture.

The vote also enables the constituent groups to begin raising large gifts of $3 million or more to pay for the project. Lincoln Center's executives said that they planned to raise at least $40 million by the end of January in an initial fund-raising campaign.

Lincoln Center Inc., the campus landlord and itself a constituent, has agreed to match 20 percent of the first $25 million raised and 15 percent of everything raised beyond that. Lincoln Center Inc. owns Alice Tully Hall and Avery Fisher Hall.

The redevelopment project has moved in fits and starts since its conception. Mr. Volpe withdrew from the project in January 2001 on the ground that the Met had not been adequately consulted about the plans. The opera rejoined four months later, having received assurances of greater involvement in decision making.

Although Mr. Volpe recently announced his retirement in 2006, he is expected to continue playing an active role in the project.

Two chairmen have come and gone during the redevelopment process. Marshall Rose, the real estate developer, resigned in 2001, primarily out of frustration with the Met. Peter M. Lehrer, the construction executive, resigned in June, citing what he viewed as wasteful management and sluggish progress.

Mr. Crawford said yesterday that he would be the acting chairman and that a new one would eventually be appointed.

Major issues have yet to be resolved. One potential stumbling block arose recently over the question of who would pay for $3.5 million in structural improvements for the New York State Theater, which is owned by the city and shared by the City Ballet and City Opera. Mr. Levy said that discussions on this matter were continuing. Also uncertain is the extent to which Avery Fisher Hall will be renovated now that the Philharmonic has decided to stay there, and whether City Opera will leave for the World Trade Center site or elsewhere since it wants its own home.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

April 12th, 2004, 07:29 PM
April 13, 2004

Plan Turns a Neglected Alley Into a More Welcoming Space


Audiences attending a Shakespeare play at Lincoln Center Theater or a Mostly Mozart concert at Alice Tully Hall will dine in a new restaurant with glass walls overlooking the reflecting pool and the Henry Moore sculpture. Students from Juilliard and the School of American Ballet will study and picnic on the restaurant's sloping grass roof. Ticket buyers will scan the scrolling electronic billboards, deciding whether to sample French cinema at the Film Society, "Rigoletto" at the Metropolitan Opera or "Coppelia" at the New York State Theater.

Gone is the ungainly bridge that crosses West 65th Street, gone are the forbidding high stone walls that currently enclose the buildings, reduced is the wide street on which cars now hurtle east even as audiences are massing for performances.

Such is the $325 million transformation of Lincoln Center's main artery envisioned for the first phase of its ambitious redevelopment project, to be unveiled today to the public. Construction is to begin in the spring of 26 and to be completed by January 2009.

Nearly 50 years since New York City's Board of Estimate agreed to designate Lincoln Square for urban renewal, the reconstruction project of West 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue and the seven arts groups along it signals a new chapter in Lincoln Center's architectural history and artistic identity. "We want to create a street of the arts," said Rebecca Robertson, executive director of the redevelopment. "To take what is now a neglected alley and make it a famous street."

As plans move ahead for 65th Street, this is the first time the 11 constituent groups involved have arrived at a consensus after years of contention over various aspects of the redevelopment, which was announced in 1999. The project has been complicated by internal conflicts on the campus, most recently the Met refused to sign off on plans unless they guaranteed continued garage access for patrons on West 65th Street.

The project is also tied to the city's financial health, since Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani committed $240 million in capital funds to the project. The approval of the plans means fund-raising and actual construction can finally begin, following review by city agencies.

The redesign calls for a markedly different physical environment at Lincoln Center, tempering the dominant stone structures with more greenery and glass. In particular the design seeks to make Lincoln Center appear more open and accessible to the neighborhood around it, including the housing projects and public high schools on Amsterdam Avenue. At a time when cultural organizations nationwide are struggling to lure new audiences and compete with electronic media, Lincoln Center wants to appear less like an intimidating ivory tower of culture and more like a user-friendly arts campus. "It's really important to us, to present a new and welcoming face to our neighbors to the west," said Reynold Levy, president of Lincoln Center.

During construction Alice Tully Hall will be closed for a year. A renovation of Avery Fisher Hall, postponed by the Philharmonic's aborted merger with Carnegie Hall, will not begin until the 65th Street portion of the project is completed, Lincoln Center officials said, though planning is to begin immediately. "We can't have those two halls closed at the same time," said Bruce Crawford, chairman of the redevelopment, speaking of Avery Fisher and Alice Tully.

The plan by the firm Diller Scofidio & Renfro calls for a lively boulevard of bright marquees and bustling box offices. Glass walls replace opaque travertine, a narrow transparent footbridge traverses the street, a broad staircase invites people to lounge on the steps or head up into the north plaza, a wider sidewalk features entrances at ground level.

The seven groups along West 65th Street are Juilliard, the School of American Ballet, Lincoln Center Theater (which includes the Vivian Beaumont and the Mitzi E. Newhouse), the Film Society, the Chamber Music Society, the Library for the Performing Arts and Lincoln Center Inc., which presents events at at Alice Tully Hall. "This is their front door," Ms. Robertson said.

More than 20,000 people use the street daily, Lincoln Center officials said, including audiences, employees and students. A new film center is to have two theaters — one with 190 seats, the other 90 seats — and a new lecture hall with these interior spaces designed by the architect David Rockefeller. On the street 90 feet of wall space is to offer electronic information about what is going on inside.

Juilliard, too, is to have a new grand entrance and a 30-foot translucent wall publicizing its 600 free concerts as well as other events. The plans also call for new rehearsal rooms, a music-technology center, a student lounge, a new black-box theater and a dance studio with a large glass picture window visible from the street.

Alice Tully Hall is to get a new dramatic, angular entrance along with a wedge of steps for people to sit on.

Plans call for a new lobby and a glass entrance canopy for Lincoln Center Theater as well as screens that alert stragglers about curtain time approaching.

The sidewalk on 65th Street is to be widened to 27 feet from 15 feet; the street itself is to be narrowed to 38 feet from 50.

Garage access on 65th Street, which the Metropolitan Opera fought to keep, will be routed through the north side of the block rather than the south side, where pedestrians are concentrated. New entrances to the garage will open on West 63rd Street and West 64th Street with access from Amsterdam Avenue. A seven-month public review process is to include presentations to the community board, the borough president and the city council. The next phase of the project is to include an upgrade of Josie Robertson Plaza, where the fountain is situated; Damrosch Park, the grassy area adjacent to the Metropolitan Opera house; and Avery Fisher Hall.

As part of the 65th Street plan the reflecting pool is to be elongated slightly, and a black granite plinth is to be installed over which a thin membrane of water will flow. When drained, the pool can be used as a platform for showing films outdoors.

The new restaurant's 11,000-square-foot lawn roof will be made of real grass with a synthetic base, along the lines of those at Bryant Park and Fordham University. The restaurant underneath will seat 220 people; a chef has yet to be determined. The staircase up from 65th Street to the north plaza is to be widened to 52 feet from 38 feet with a gentler slope that will allow passers-by to see into the plaza from the street and invite people to sit on the steps.

"This is what we feel is missing at Lincoln Center," Ms. Robertson said, "people just hanging out."

The southeast corner of 65th Street and Amsterdam Avenue is to have a juice or coffee bar, a staircase into the plaza and electronic information about center goings-on. On the southwest corner of 66th and Broadway will be a retail store into which Juilliard's current bookstore will be integrated.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

April 12th, 2004, 08:07 PM
April 13, 2004


A New Face for Lincoln Center


One of the conceptual designs for Alice Tully Hall, as seen from the corner of Broadway and 65th Street.

Rendering from Diller Scofidio & Renfro

The 65th Street corridor at Lincoln Center will be opened up using glass as the dominant note. The street will be narrowed, and the sidewalk widened.

After a few false starts and some loud internal grumbling, the Lincoln Center Redevelopment Project has found itself a fine, mellow groove. What we've got here is the inverse of the Wow Factor: a new plan for the center's public spaces so understated as to seem almost uncanny. It looks just like Lincoln Center, only smarter, more self-aware and amazingly confident in its sense of direction.

Prepared by the New York office of Diller Scofidio & Renfro in association with Fox & Fowle Architects, also of New York, the 65th Street plan is the first in a series of construction initiatives that will be undertaken at Lincoln Center in the next decade.

The plan is evolutionary. It tweaks, here and there, the existing architecture of Lincoln Center, but the overall effect is to enhance the original rather than to negate or override it. It's respectful. This seems to me an invaluable civic lesson at this intemperate moment in our national life.

The plan focuses on the center's north side flanking West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. The street itself and open areas to either side of it are to be extensively remodeled, but with a refreshing sensitivity to Lincoln Center's original design.

The street, now a dim vehicular corridor dominated by a 210-foot-wide overhead bridge, will be revamped to become the center's main circulation axis. It will be narrowed from four lanes to three, and sidewalks will be widened accordingly. The clunky bridge (technically known as Milstein Plaza, as if it were a public space, you understand) will be replaced by a slender footbridge of translucent glass.

Glass will be the dominant note along the new axis. Etched-glass "light mats" will be set into the sidewalk paving. Transparent facades will replace opaque walls at the ground-floor level of Juilliard. Animated signs on plasma and L.E.D. screens will enliven the street spectacle, and a stand of bleachers will offer a great vantage from which to observe it. Rising from the northwest corner of Broadway and 65th Street, a triangular bank of seats will face the remodeled facade of Alice Tully Hall and the Juilliard building that houses it.

The design punches through the dualistic thinking that often plagues urban planners. Preservation or demolition? Neither. Rather, a sensitive remodeling of Juilliard, Pietro Belluschi's 1968 Brutalist composition formally dressed in travertine. I like the building, and the remodeling will improve it. Its corner will be stretched with a triangular protrusion of the upper stories, cantilevered out over the existing pavement. A glazed box will pop down from the underside, offering views of the rehearsal studio within.

The lobby of Alice Tully, now entered through a front door that belongs in the back, will soar magnificently within a fully glazed enclosure. On the Broadway facade of Juilliard's upper stories, a taut glass surface will replace the stone. The precision with which the architects balance the original and the new addition should instruct young dancers in poise.

On the south side of 65th Street the architects have eroded the boundary between the street and the plaza level above it. With the bridge removed, a broad double staircase will rise from the sidewalk just west of Avery Fisher Hall. This, too, will provide a sunny place to sit where gloom now gathers.

Do you like a nice platform? The new design is tantamount to gaining a new one. The north plaza, stretching between Avery Fisher and the Vivian Beaumont Theater, has long been problematic. It's a hideous illustration of George Balanchine's contention that Lincoln Center's companies have nothing in common but the central heating. Nobody wants to do his share of tidying up.

The reflecting pool is garbage central. Eero Saarinen's design for the Beaumont is elegant, perhaps the best building of Lincoln Center's mediocre lot. (But entering it is like falling into an empty swimming pool.) The side elevations of Avery Fisher and, especially, the Metropolitan Opera House (those fins that look like travertine air intakes), though, do not presently make a handsome outdoor room.

If only every barren windswept plaza could get the Diller Scofidio & Renfro treatment! The Municipal Art Society could stop moaning that things aren't what they used to be.

Simple program, restrained design: that's the winning combination here. The plaza will now be the setting for a jewel of a restaurant. It will occupy the glass pedestal of an arresting sculptural form: a grassy hollow, seemingly levitated to form the restaurant's roof.

Here we can see that these architects are great form makers as well as conceptual designers. A plane anchored diagonally at two corners, lined with wood underneath, the roof evokes Saarinen designs for Yale and M.I.T. (Saarinen, though, was seldom sensitive to context.) Here the contoured horizontal shape plays off the strict straight lines and planes of the surrounding surfaces. With the exposed wood paneling, the roof nearly resembles a musical instrument, tempered to New York sound.

On the southern edge of the plaza a rectangular grove of trees offers vertical counterpoint and partly screens the Met's uninviting wall. The reflecting pool has been rethought, too. The pool's edges will be shaped to make it look as if the water were doing weird antigravitational things. They are a pleasingly off-balance ensemble, the roof, the pool, the grove: three characters in search of waltzing in the rain.

Two factors account for the uncanny quality of the 65th Street plan. The first is that it allows Lincoln Center to look familiar but changed. The second is the subtle recurrence of distinctive forms and materials. Triangles. Glass planes. Foliage. Wood. Without appearing in any sense modular this repetitive vocabulary creates a more organic cohesion than was ever attained simply by covering every surface with travertine. The design is "para-planning," an approach that reveals latent qualities within imperfect spaces.

Once again the city is indebted to Rebecca Robertson, executive director of the redevelopment project. Ms. Robertson, the key figure in preventing 42nd Street from becoming a sterile corporate canyon, has shown even greater vision in enlisting these brilliant architects to undertake a major civic project. The architects also credit Bruce Kovner, Juilliard's chairman, for the miracle of consensus-building among Lincoln Center's constituents.

It's important to recognize that the philosophy embodied by this project could transform prevailing ideas about public space. Many of us have been waiting for a plan that can move New York's thinking about planning beyond the strenuously pointless debate over traditional street grid vs. modern superblock. Diller Scofidio & Renfro have given us that plan.

If you insist on looking at urbanism in terms of interior decoration, street grids and plazas are equally modern and traditional. Ancient Romans had their ways with both. But in terms of civic, as opposed to military, application, the grid form is of more modern vintage.

Reflexive modernity is what cities are looking for now. Feedback has entered the picture. Instead of tossing out entire categories of urban space in the name of ideology or for marketing purposes, architects are better off learning from concrete examples of performance. Goodbye, catastrophic planning. Welcome to the urbanism of lilt and swoon.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

April 13th, 2004, 10:40 AM
:D Great news!!!

It was just plain simple...just put glass on these 1950's buildings and they look brand new.

April 13th, 2004, 01:45 PM
April 13, 2004

Lincoln Center outlines its future

Associated Press

Slide Show: Before and after at Lincoln Center (http://www.nynewsday.com/entertainment/nyc-lincgallery,0,5194860.photogallery?coll=nyc-swapbox-homepage)

Lincoln Center outlined plans on Tuesday to transform a nondescript Manhattan side street into a "pedestrian-oriented corridor" and make seven of its cultural components more accessible to theatergoers, music lovers, film buffs and people-watchers.

Instead of parking garage entrances and "opaque walls" that give no hint of what goes on inside, the long block of West 65th Street off Broadway will become a glassed-in front door for the famed Julliard School of Music and a host of other performance facilities, officials said.

At a news conference, architect Elizabeth Diller used computer animation to give observers an unnervingly realistic virtual tour of what the site will look like when the $325 million project is completed, and what she called an "architectural striptease" to show how the blank travertine walls of the venerable Alice Tully concert hall will be removed and replaced with transparent glass facades.

The design objective was not to radically change Lincoln Center but to "amplify" its best features and "fulfill its unrealized potential," said Diller, a professor of architecture at Princeton University and partner in the firm chosen to lead the project. "We wanted to make Lincoln Center more Lincoln Center than Lincoln Center," she said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg recalled that then-President Eisenhower turned the first spade of dirt in 1959 for Lincoln Center's 16-acre campus, now the world's largest performing arts mecca and home to the Metropolitan Opera and New York Philharmonic.

"It was much more than just an arts center, it was a symbol of American creativity ... that tried to embody architectural excellence and the trailbreaking catalyst for the redevelopment of the Upper West Side," Bloomberg said, who once served on the Lincoln Center board.

"Today, 45 years later, we begin a new transformation with a dynamic and dramatic redesign of West 65th Street," he said.

The plan encompasses upgrading of the concert hall and the century-old Julliard school in the same building, a new film center with two theaters, a new facade for the Rose building that houses the School of American Ballet, a theater and film and chamber music societies, and the open-air North Plaza that is underused and showing signs of deterioration.

The renovated plaza will feature a glassed-in, 200-seat restaurant with a slanted roof doubling as a grassy, park-like space -- part of an effort to make the complex more than a "nighttime place of presentation," said Lincoln Center president Reynold Levy.

As outlined by Diller, Levy and others, the key to the project is the transformation of West 65th from a dingy sidestreet into a pedestrian-friendly "Street of the Arts," with wider sidewalks replacing one of its four traffic lanes. An existing overhead pedestrian bridge will be replaced by a sleeker, glassed-walled version.

The project was cleared for action after all of Lincoln Center's various components voted unanimously to accept it. Garage entrances -- long a bone of contention that delayed the agreement -- will be moved from West 65th to parallel streets on the other side of the campus, officials said.

Rebecca Robertson, Lincoln Center's executive director, said the resident organizations along the block account for half of Lincoln Center's cultural facilities and half of its operating budget.

"Behind the opaque walls of 65th Street we have 5,000 artists, students, workers toiling every day on 13 stages, 81 rehearsal rooms, 80 practice rooms, 13 dance studios, offering 3,500 programs a year for 1.2 million people," she said.

"For pedestrians during the day it's uncomfortable. At night, it's chaos, as 4,000 pedestrians want to cross the street, darting in and out between cars, trying to get to the curtains on time."

The plan also will include improved signs to help people get where they are going, she said.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro, of New York, is the lead architectural firm for the three-year project, expected to begin in 2006, pending review by various city agencies. Levy said fund-raising is under way, with $17 million recently pledged. The city earlier committed $240 million to the program.

Levy said Lincoln Center contributes $1 billion annually to the city's economy.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

April 14th, 2004, 02:14 PM



April 26th, 2004, 11:48 AM
Animated Presentation (http://www.streamingculture.org/directory/launch/preferences?mediaid=752)

April 26th, 2004, 11:55 AM

Hard to believe the babbling brook/chirping bird/no traffic noise effect, but we'll see.

Also, why are there not more trees, at least on (I think) 65th street?

April 26th, 2004, 07:07 PM
Cool Animation tour!!! It looks so peaceful and quiet by just playing it over and over again. But yeah it is not quite like it of course.

I love the new design though... and that weird park on top of the cafe looks very unbalanced. I wouldnt want to go up there after eating a sandwich and soda at such cafe or restaurant. :mrgreen:

April 28th, 2004, 01:44 PM
Architecture Review

Light Fantastic

A new entrance to the Brooklyn Museum and a plan to reinvent Lincoln Center’s north campus add sparkle and spaciousness to aging fortresses.

By Joseph Giovannini

In an age of cosmetic surgery, it is easy to confuse architectural intervention with, well, call it façade-lift. But Cinderella transformations can rejuvenate and even redefine buildings grown rigid and opaque with age and which, in the case of cultural institutions, have come between the dancer and the dance. Architecture is destiny, and it can be sublime—witness the various permutations of the Guggenheim. Even absent wholesale reconstruction, some institutions are discovering what a modicum of intervention can do: A little nip and tuck can have the impact of a total personality transplant. Both the Brooklyn Museum of Art and Lincoln Center have recently answered the self-corrective call, and each is now emerging with a much blither spirit.

At the end of Saturday Night Fever, John Travolta decides to make the move from Brooklyn to Manhattan, in a leap up New York’s evolutionary chain. Today, his son would ride the subway back, stride through the Brooklyn Museum’s glassy new portico, and down the champagne. Having tried harder for at least two decades, the Avis of New York museums is at last hitting its stride as a joyous temple of the borough’s renaissance. Across the East River, on the Upper West Side, Lincoln Center just unveiled a $325 million redesign by Diller Scofidio + Renfro that is every bit as open and people-friendly as the museum’s, but touched as well with a sly Duchampian wit. What the designs have in common is an imaginative leap beyond the predictable that will help capture a generation of patrons who have largely ignored these institutions, having found them elitist and, worse, forbidding. The new projects are indirect responses to massive demographic shifts—first to downtown, and then to Brooklyn—that have altered the cultural map of the city.

I first became aware of the talent drain to Brooklyn in the mid-eighties, when, writing on architecture and design for the Times, I noticed my Rolodex fattening with 718 prefixes. Not long after, the borough started getting seriously cool, with all those Robert Wilson productions at BAM, plus the imports from the Royal National Theater at BAM’s self-consciously “distressed” annex, the Majestic (now the Harvey). Restaurants followed, and soon reviewers rained stars on local chefs (who knew?).

Yet twenty years ago, no museum was mustier than the Brooklyn, an inflated Beaux-Arts edifice by McKim, Mead & White. Here the unsuspecting visitor had to climb a penitential 28-foot-high flight of stairs to an entrance colonnade in a Sisyphean, all-too-symbolic attempt at rising to high art: The permanent dominance of culture over the individual was cast into the building’s posture.

This nineteenth-century artifact now boasts a spectacular new front stoop, a fanning semicircle of glass, grass, and steel that already is proving to be a breeder reactor of spontaneous urban life along Eastern Parkway. On members’ night, thousands of the borough’s hip and young—there was Michael Arad himself, winner of the World Trade Center memorial design competition, pushing a baby stroller—swarmed the elegant, futuristic structure on their way into a galvanizing exhibition of home-grown contemporary art, “Open House: Working in Brooklyn.”

James S. Polshek, of the Polshek Partnership Architects, has reversed the McKim, Mead attitude with a $63 million entrance and plaza that extends a warm architectural handshake. Today, visitors emerge from the reconfigured subway station into a small orchard of cherry trees arrayed by landscape architect Judith Heintz as the outer ripples of structured circles radiating from the museum’s inner hall. Architects frequently pivot buildings on circles, which are omnidirectional, and Polshek plucked the idea from an unbuilt hemicycle of steps detailed in McKim, Mead’s original plan, repositioning it at the front to take people into its 180-degree embrace.

Working with management partner Duncan Hazard, in coordination with Joan Darragh, the museum’s vice-director for planning and architecture, Polshek expanded and transformed the classical device of a portico into an environmental art piece. A computer-programmed fountain of geysers by WET Design—irresistible to kids—dances in the outer ring, facing bleachers nested in the stepped semicircular profile. A boardwalk invites visitors into the inner rings of the steel-and-glass superstructure, offering 360-degree views inside and back to the street, as though the museum and city were theatrical happenings to be observed alongside the exhibitions within. A diagonal path pierces the concentric rings, delivering visitors to the ticket desk in the luminous pavilion.

Wise gardeners know how to plant a yard to attract birds, and Polshek has interpreted the new entrance so that it captivates people. He breaks the circles into segments, giving each a role, creating a diversified environment for looking, stopping, playing, visiting. The informality promotes a participatory relationship, and people vote with their feet all over the structure: Form provokes activity, which in turn encourages visitors to enter the museum, searching for more. The glass structure, its dynamic steel columns leaning forward in contrast to the stiffly static museum, counterintuitively forms a shimmering and fragile visual base for the heavy limestone edifice. Polshek removes the ground visually from the imposing mother building, making it look buoyant and magical. This is a sympathetic and respectful contemporary addition to a designated landmark.

If BAM, the Harvey, and now the Brooklyn Museum are all fresh and alluring, Manhattan institutions risk growing predictable, not to say stale. MoMA, stuck in its own magnificent rut of monographic shows on modern masters, knew it was losing the next generation, and linked with P.S. 1 in Queens to attract new blood. Like MoMA, Lincoln Center urgently needed a jolt of Viagra, and hired Diller Scofidio + Renfro, arguably downtown’s hippest architectural boîte, to bring back the thrill.

Each of the center’s companies is encased in a modernist monument; through friendly alterations, the designers are using architecture to crack open the treasure houses so that the energy of the city flows inside through glassy portals, and intimations of the spectacles inside reach the street. A glass prow floating above Broadway, for example, allows passersby to watch Juilliard dancers rehearsing. Interior and exterior charge each other. Dismantling the fortress in favor of urban charisma benefits the immediate neighborhood; at the same time, it represents an open invitation to festivity.

Like Polshek and company, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, working with Fox & Fowle Architects, also show great deference to quasi-historic buildings. Removing the wide, oppressive bridge over West 65th Street and eliminating intrusive driveways, the architects transform this ominous service corridor by reestablishing its “streetness” with storefronts, lobbies, and marquees. They propose a theater lobby along 65th for Eero Saarinen’s elegantly refined Vivian Beaumont, next to a juice bar, all under a restaurant with a potato-chip-shaped roof whose top doubles as a parabolic lawn for Juilliard students and visitors alike.

And just as Polshek formed the Brooklyn Museum entrance as an environmental field rather than as a focused object, the Lincoln Center team distributes additions like barnacles throughout the north campus in an abstract language of diagonal lines and oblique and warped planes. The effect is as if Lincoln Center had eloped with Brasília in a mad moment. The dynamic cuts in the opaque walls are like incisions opening the interior anatomy for public viewing. At Alice Tully Hall, the architects extend and deform the existing Euclidean box and destabilize the building visually, investing the regular structure with a strange and even uncanny beauty. In an illusionistic tour de force, the architects slant the north plaza around the reflecting pool so that water appears to slope downhill.

Poets of a postmodern sensibility, Diller Scofidio + Renfro weave virtuality into the design, creating a luminous electronic space at 65th and Broadway, its curved organic walls, like an orange peel, inset with monitors scrolling programs. Digital ticker tapes mixed within new staircases splice the virtual world into the physical. The sum total of the digital gadgetry promises to expand the cityscape with views of the happenings inside, bringing shows to the street, affirming the architectural gestures that already open the various theaters. Making many working parts of the complex visible, the architects act as conductors, orchestrating the whole complex into an outdoor urban performance.

In both the Lincoln Center and Brooklyn Museum projects, the architects graft additions that grow from the original concepts into unexpected hybrids. But they are not just making formal alterations to give the institutions an image makeover; the additions are helping to update the culture of the institutions themselves, broadening their programs, democratizing their identities, renewing their very missions. Architecture is the can opener for these closed containers, creating a more porous and interactive relationship between the city at large and institutions that ultimately prosper in the open.

From the May 02, 2004 issue of New York Magazine.

May 3rd, 2004, 11:36 AM
65th St. Redevelopment Given a Green Light

Juilliard Building to Undergo Major Expansion



After months of hanging in uneasy suspension, a plan to redevelop West 65th Street has won unanimous approval from the 12 organizations that comprise Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The project, which will dramatically alter 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue and the adjoining public spaces on the street and plaza levels, will cost $325 million and take about three years to complete, with construction expected to begin in the spring of 2006 and last until January 2009. (However, work on the Juilliard building is expected to be finished in the spring of 2008.) According to Lincoln Center officials, it is the first in a series of construction projects that will be undertaken at the performing arts complex over the next decade.

At a press conference on April 13 to unveil the conceptual design for the renovation, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said that when President Dwight D. Eisenhower broke ground for Lincoln Center in 1959, it was a symbol of American creativity and architectural excellence. "It was also at the heart of a transformation," the mayor said, "a trailblazing catalyst for the redevelopment of the Upper West Side. Today, 45 years later, we begin a new transformation, with the dynamic and dramatic redesign of West 65th Street, one that will turn it into a veritable 'Street of the Arts.'"

The plan, designed by the architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in conjunction with Fox & Fowle Architects; L'Observatoire International, Inc.; Cooper Robertson & Partners; and 2 X 4, aims to transform 65th Street from the dingy and somewhat forbidding thoroughfare of today into a wider, light-drenched block where performing artists, students, tourists, and neighborhood residents can interact, making it "a more welcoming destination for the five million visitors to Lincoln Center each year," said Bruce Crawford, the chairman of Lincoln Center.

Architect Elizabeth Diller said that the design—a kind of "architectural striptease"—embraces the spirit of the center's original 1960s architecture. "We imagine a Lincoln Center that is more Lincoln Center than Lincoln Center," she said as she guided observers on a computerized virtual tour of the remodeled street. "Rather than replace the image of this cultural icon with one alien to it, we propose to amplify its most successful features and fulfill its unrealized potential."

The street itself will be narrowed, eliminating one car lane, while at the same time, the sidewalk on the south side will be widened, making it safer for pedestrians. Several key Lincoln Center organizations that reside on 65th Street and that account for half of its operating budget—among them The Juilliard School, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Lincoln Center Theater, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (whose home is Alice Tully Hall)—will gain prominent street presence with impressive street-level entrances, transparent glass facades replacing the drab, thick slabs of concrete, and dramatic lighting. Instead of traditional directional signs, "light mats" of etched glass will be set in the sidewalks. A narrow, translucent footbridge that will allow sunlight to spill onto the street below will replace the existing 65th Street overpass. A widened staircase just west of Avery Fisher Hall will lead up to the North Plaza; across its risers, scrolling L.E.D. text containing programming information will be displayed.

The Juilliard School building is the largest component of the plan and will undergo significant changes. The main entrance to the building, which was designed by Pietro Belluschi in the late 1960s, will be on street level. The now solid travertine base will be opened up, with a transparent new facade revealing the Juilliard Theater and lobby and framing a sweeping staircase that will connect the ground floor with an upper, light-filled student lounge. Also planned is the incorporation of several high-technology graphic displays, providing the public with information about the hundreds of concerts and other presentations offered annually by the School.

All in all, Juilliard will gain approximately 40,000 square feet of additional space. The upper floors of the eastern facade will protrude out toward Broadway in a triangular overhang above Tully Hall; inside it, a new dance studio with a large picture window will be visible to the outside. There will also be a new black-box theater, orchestra and jazz rehearsal studios, a music technology center, new classrooms, offices, and practice rooms, a writing and speaking center, and a conference room, as well as an expanded area for the Juilliard library and archives, and a faculty lounge.

Elsewhere on campus, many changes—some subtle, others more dramatic—are planned. The North Plaza will become a bucolic campus green, with a bosk of trees reminiscent of a Parisian park, and a gently sloping, parabolic-shaped lawn pitched toward an elongated reflecting pool with water cascading over its sides. This open 11,000-square-foot lawn, which will be framed by a transparent glass railing and will provide a place for outdoor performances, seminars, film screenings, or simply to hang out, will sit atop a glass pavilion restaurant seating 220. Other retail facilities will include a juice or coffee bar on the southeast corner of 65th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, and a store on the southwest corner of 66th Street and Broadway into which the current Juilliard bookstore will be incorporated.

Both Alice Tully Hall and the Lincoln Center Theater will be given grand, new entrances and lobbies; the Film Society will get two new state-of-the-art screening rooms and an amphitheater-style space for lectures and other educational activities, as well as a new cafe. The Samuel B. and David Rose Building, the home of Lincoln Center, Inc., the School of American Ballet, and the Meredith Willson Residence Hall, among others, will also undergo a redesign, creating a glass-enclosed lobby with improved security. A new pedestrian circulation hub will connect the Rose Building with Juilliard.

Juilliard's president, Joseph W. Polisi, said he is extremely excited about the plan. "It's going to link us to Lincoln Center in a much more clear and open way. The 65th Street renaissance, with the removal of the bridge, will give us a greater sense of openness. We'll be drawn to the North Plaza—the bosk of trees, the meadow roof, which I think will be very popular, and to the attractions on the street level, including the restaurant."

"I have really enjoyed working with the creativity of Diller Scofidio + Renfro," he added. "They have shown a playfulness and respect for the current architecture and the needs of Juilliard. Of course, we all owe a great debt of gratitude to Juilliard's chairman Bruce Kovner for leading this project to its current state."

The construction, which will span two academic years, will cause "significant disruption," the president said. "Portions of the building will be construction sites. Alice Tully Hall will be closed for the 2006-07 season. That said, we've come up with some wonderfully creative swing-space options within the building, and we expect that no one will have to leave the building." The two fifth-floor courtyards will be fitted out and will serve as "the repository for many activities that will be displaced during construction time." Alternative performance spaces for the 50 or so concerts that take place in Tully Hall are being explored, he said. "I'm going to be soliciting the wonderful good will of the community each day during the duration of the construction." The president said that the preliminary interior designs for the Juilliard building will be shown to all members of the Juilliard community this month for their comments. "I hope as many faculty, students, and staff members as possible will participate in this process," Polisi said.

Before actual construction can begin, the entire 65th Street redevelopment plan must undergo a seven-month public review process that will include presentations before local community boards, the borough president, and the City Council. Funding will come from a variety of public and private sources. Mayor Bloomberg reaffirmed the city's financial commitment to Lincoln Center's redevelopment. A fund-raising campaign, called Bravo Lincoln Center, was announced at the April 13 press conference, and, according to Lincoln Center, $17 million has already been pledged. Lincoln Center, the world's largest performing arts complex, contributes more than $1.1 billion annually to New York's economy.

The renovation of the Juilliard building will cost approximately $100 million, posing a significant fund-raising challenge for Juilliard. "With the leadership of our board of trustees, and the generous support of longtime friends and new contributors, plus matching funds as provided in Juilliard's arrangement with Lincoln Center, I am confident that Juilliard will raise the money needed to take advantage of this opportunity to prepare the School to meet the demands of the next several decades," President Polisi said. Lincoln Center will match 20 percent of funds raised for the project, up to $25 million, and 15 percent thereafter. "It's a project we've been researching for several years," the president added. "Economically for Juilliard it's a great opportunity. We are grateful to the leadership of Lincoln Center, Inc. for making this possible."


May 3rd, 2004, 12:07 PM
3 years to finish? but why... it is just only to alter the original building a little bit isn't? It is not like constructing a new building from scratch...I just dont get it why it will take that long. :| They should start in 2005 anyway not in 2006. What a process!!!

TLOZ Link5
May 3rd, 2004, 01:24 PM
Renovations generally take more time than constructing a new building. You need to work with and around the existing structure.

May 20th, 2004, 06:47 AM
May 20, 2004

Philharmonic to Give Home a New Interior


Avery Fisher Hall

The New York Philharmonic has decided to rebuild the inside of Avery Fisher Hall with a more intimate, acoustically improved auditorium and boldly redesigned public spaces while leaving the shell intact, the orchestra said yesterday.

For years the Philharmonic has wrestled with the poor acoustics of Avery Fisher Hall, which have yet to improve despite various attempts and which contributed to the orchestra's interest last summer in merging with Carnegie Hall.

The new plan, agreed to by the Philharmonic at a recent board meeting and endorsed by Lincoln Center, which owns the 42-year-old hall, comes seven months after the orchestra abandoned discussions to move to Carnegie Hall.

The project would require the orchestra to be out of its home for one to two seasons and could cost as much as $300 million, those involved say.

The renovation could not begin until Lincoln Center's redesign of West 65th Street and Alice Tully Hall is complete in 2009, Lincoln Center executives said, because they do not want to have two halls out of commission at the same time.

"I think we've all said, `If you're going to do something to the hall, there should be a transformative look to the place, and we and Lincoln Center would like to pursue that as an objective,' " said Zarin Mehta, the executive director of the Philharmonic.

"It's not just the acoustics," Mr. Mehta said. "I've always said the problem with the acoustics here are comparisons to Carnegie Hall. We need to make the hall more livable, more attractive. The bars, restaurants, staircases — all of that needs to be thought about and updated. There's nothing wrong with bringing it into the 21st century. New York deserves that."

Reconstructing the interior has been tried before, most famously in 1976, by Philip Johnson and John Burgee.

Mr. Mehta stressed that there were several issues to be resolved, like the logistics of moving to a temporary location, something he asserted would be more complicated than the Museum of Modern Art's temporary move to Queens during the renovation of its Midtown home, still underway. "It's one thing going to an essentially free exhibition space in Queens," he said, "but to go out and pay $80 to $90 for a ticket, I don't know how people would do it."

In deciding on a large-scale renovation of the interior, the Philharmonic has decided against the two other options that had been under consideration. At one point the Philharmonic considered tearing down the entire building and starting over from scratch, a plan that was largely rejected as too costly, time-consuming and full of other problems given that the Avery Fisher family threatened legal action if the hall's name was changed.

An internal renovation allows the orchestra to offer the auditorium as a naming opportunity for a large donor, an enticement generally considered essential for such an ambitious fund-raising effort.

The Philharmonic also considered doing minor renovations to improve the hall without substantially changing its look, a strategy that seemed prudent a year ago during an economic downturn that affected donations to the arts and charities. But with the economy improving, this approach seemed overly cautious and unexciting, officials said.

"What you want is a state-of-the-art facility," said Bruce Crawford, the chairman of Lincoln Center. "You want Avery Fisher Hall to be aesthetically at the forefront. To do a patch job doesn't really make sense."

This kind of thinking was in part inspired by the enthusiastic reaction last month to Diller, Scofidio & Renfro's plans for redesigning West 65th Street, people involved with the project said. The successful opening of Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall, home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, in October was also a motivating factor, they said.

The orchestra and Lincoln Center have agreed to share in the fund-raising for the renovation; a chairman will be appointed to lead the effort, Mr. Crawford said.

The Philharmonic must figure out how to juggle this kind of capital campaign with its current plans to increase its endowment by $75 million, to $263 million from $188 million. The orchestra is projecting a deficit of $3.3 million for the fiscal year that ends Aug. 31, a shortfall its officials attribute to investment losses.

When the New York Philharmonic last considered how to renovate the hall, before the planned merger with Carnegie Hall, Norman Foster was the architect selected to come up with a plan. Lord Foster has transformed the interiors of buildings to great acclaim, including the Reichstag in Berlin and the British Museum.

Among his ideas was eliminating the third balcony and raising the ceiling up to the roof to create greater acoustical volume. The Foster plan proposed shifting the auditorium to create space for a smaller recital hall that could also be used for lectures and educational programming, people familiar with the plans said.

Some Philharmonic board members have said it is important to create a second space for more adventuresome programming to attract new audiences. This seems particularly pressing given the opening of Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall's third and more experimental stage, last fall.

The Philharmonic plans to revisit the Foster plans, although the architect has not been officially designated and the specifics of the renovation have yet to be resolved. "We still want Foster to do it," Mr. Crawford said.

Mr. Mehta said he believed that Avery Fisher Hall, which has 2,738 seats, would benefit from a more intimate setting, with a platform stage surrounded by audience members on all sides — as in Disney Hall — and 350 fewer seats. "You're listening to music, and we have a hall that is rather long," he said. "Today I think people feel they want to be more involved."

In addition to being the landlord at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center presents its own programming there — Great Performers, Mostly Mozart, the Lincoln Center Festival, for example — although the Philharmonic dominates the schedule. A renovation of Avery Fisher Hall would require Lincoln Center to find temporary quarters for these events.

Ideally the Philharmonic would like to build its temporary home in Damrosch Park, between the Metropolitan Opera House and the New York State Theater, so the orchestra could remain on campus and reduce the risk of losing some of its audience.

But creating an acoustically adequate temporary theater, with office space, would be difficult, and costly, those involved say. The idea, which was explored before the Philharmonic turned to Carnegie Hall, had been estimated at about $30 million. A tent of the kind used by the Big Apple Circus in Damrosch Park would not be acoustically suitable, Lincoln Center officials pointed out.

The Philharmonic is also considering the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue at 67th Street. Under its previous music director, Kurt Masur, the orchestra looked at the armory as a summer home or as a setting for more informal concerts modeled after the London Proms, to attract a young audience.

Mr. Mehta said a temporary move to Carnegie Hall was not an option because it would force Carnegie Hall to oust its regular presentations.

The Philharmonic's redevelopment team is being led by Katherine G. Farley, the chairwoman of the board's real estate committee. Ms. Farley, who also serves on Lincoln Center's board, was instrumental in pursuing the merger with Carnegie even as she was leading the Philharmonic's renovation plans for Avery Fisher Hall, prompting some to question her loyalties at the time. Ms. Farley's husband, the developer Jerry I. Speyer, is on the board of Carnegie Hall.

Last June, Mr. Mehta said in an interview that he hoped to earmark $3 million to $4 million for a new pipe organ when Avery Fisher Hall was rebuilt or renovated. Reynold Levy, the president of Lincoln Center, said the possibility of an organ had yet to be resolved, along with many other issues.

"We've got a lot of work to do and a lot of time to spend with one another," Mr. Levy said.

After Almost 30 Years, an Encore That Seems Worth the Risks


Give the New York Philharmonic credit for gumption. A major reason it desperately wanted to leave Lincoln Center and merge with Carnegie Hall was the prospect of enduring a major renovation of Avery Fisher Hall. Besides the months or even years of dislocation, there was no certainty that the acoustics would improve, no matter how extensive the changes.

Since the merger proposal fell through, the Philharmonic has come up with a bold renovation plan that would indeed mean closing the doors for perhaps two seasons with no guarantee of the acoustical results.

The Philharmonic has been down this road before, of course, with the complete gutting of the hall in 1976. But there is reason to believe that this renovation could be worth the trouble and cost.

Acoustical engineers and architects have learned a lot by trial and error over the last 25 years. The best evidence in my experience is the Seattle Opera House, which reopened last summer under a new name, Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, after a renovation that included gutting the auditorium except for the concrete floors and the supports for the balcony.

The auditorium was narrowed, the balconies were extended, and the proscenium was raised. The acoustics were enhanced with reverberation chambers in the side walls, which are now adorned with steel bars and beams that diffuse the sound, much as sculptured cherubs and Rococo frillery did in concert halls and opera houses of old. The renovation turned a nondescript modern opera house with only adequate acoustics into an intimate-feeling auditorium with a rich sound and good sight lines from nearly all seats.

There was talk in the Philharmonic of simply demolishing Fisher Hall and starting over. But there would still have been risk, as there always is in building a concert hall. I have been to the Philadelphia Orchestra's new home in the Kimmel Center twice and both times found the acoustics fine but unexceptional, though the musicians profess to be very pleased.

Disney Hall, which opened in the fall as the new home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, won raves for its exciting ambience, sleek beauty and lively acoustics. But even it has detractors. The acoustics are bright and clear, no argument there. But the sound is modern and clinical. Rustling programs and shuffling feet are oddly audible during performances. The orchestra sounds great there, but don't expect the mellow warmth of a Carnegie Hall.

The Philharmonic is exploring a bold plan to remove some 350 of its 2,738 seats to make room for a smaller recital hall. Quite apart from acoustics, the hall has long seemed an impersonal and inefficient public space. So these changes would be welcome, perhaps even exciting.

It must be said, though, that the shortcomings of Avery Fisher Hall's acoustics have been overstated. On great nights in the last few seasons - when Lorin Maazel conducted Varèse's wild and blazing "Ameriques" and when Colin Davis conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique" - no one in the audience was thinking about acoustics.

Still, if the renovations excite the musicians and the audiences, Avery Fisher Hall may sound better to us all even if it really doesn't.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

July 27th, 2004, 03:45 AM
July 27, 2004

New Doubts From the Met on Redesign of 65th Street


Joseph Volpe, general manager of the Met, is worried about the redesign of West 65th Street.

Bruce Crawford, Lincoln Center chairman.

Just three months after Lincoln Center unveiled grand plans for a $325 million transformation of West 65th Street, the first step in its ambitious redevelopment of the entire performing arts campus, the Metropolitan Opera has raised questions that could delay or at least complicate the project.

The Met had agreed to the 65th Street plans in April, along with 11 other participating groups. But the opera now says a recent traffic study it commissioned indicates that plans to move a garage entrance would cause delays at curtain time, inconveniencing patrons. The plans, which the opera had questioned previously, call for moving the entrance to the north side of 65th Street and routing traffic underground to the garage to allow for more free-flowing pedestrian traffic on the south side of the street.

The objections, raised by Joseph Volpe, the opera's longtime steward, have been publicly supported by the Met's chairwoman, Beverly Sills, and its president, William C. Morris, as well as by the Met's executive committee. A June 22 board meeting of the Lincoln Center redevelopment group was called off because of the dispute.

"The Met wants the whole question of garage access resolved before the 65th Street plans go ahead," Mr. Volpe said yesterday, adding that he was optimistic that the matter would be resolved.

"The easiest and no-cost solution would be to leave the existing garage entrance on 65th Street," he continued, "which the Met would be very happy with."

Reynold Levy, the president of Lincoln Center, said in a prepared statement: "The plan for garage access significantly improves the speed and the safety of pedestrians and of drivers in entering and leaving Lincoln Center. We are confident that any remaining differences in how best to execute that plan will be satisfactorily resolved in a timely fashion."

If this mushrooms into a full-blown dispute, as conflicts between the Met and Lincoln Center over the redevelopment have in the past, some of those involved are concerned that it could hurt Lincoln Center's image in this crucial phase of early fund-raising for the project.

Since the redevelopment project — which calls for upgrading the campus buildings and public spaces — was announced in 1999, Mr. Volpe has successfully led the Met's opposition to various aspects of it.

Together with Ms. Sills, he squashed the idea of constructing a Frank Gehry-designed atrium over the plaza and of building a new home for City Opera in Damrosch Park. In January 2001 the Met withdrew from the redevelopment plan because it felt inadequately consulted; the opera rejoined four months later after being promised greater control.

This time around might be different, some of those involved say. Because Mr. Volpe has announced his plans to retire as general manager in 2006, he is technically now a lame duck who may have lost some leverage.

In addition, there is tremendous support for the 65th Street redesign from the city as well as the other Lincoln Center groups, including the Juilliard School, the Film Society and Lincoln Center Theater. Being the only group standing in the way of the project could be a public relations problem for the Met.

Urbitran, an engineering, architecture and planning group that conducted the study for the Met, also did two earlier studies that showed that traffic would not be negatively affected by moving the garage. The first of those studies was commissioned by Lincoln Center at the behest of the Met, the second by the Met itself.

Lincoln Center has commissioned extensive traffic studies of its own from various other consultants since 2000. Several of those studies concluded that garage access would improve, in part because the number of entrances would increase to seven from four and the number of exits would go to six from four.

Lincoln Center officials called the last study shoddy and said they had another consultant, Philip Habib & Associates, draft a detailed response.

The Met had challenged the garage redesign earlier, raising questions that threatened to derail the planning process last October. And at the celebratory meeting in April at which the groups approved the plans for 65th Street, Mr. Volpe insisted that language be added to the resolution requiring another vote before construction begins in spring 2006. He also later asked that the minutes of the meeting be changed to reflect the Met's proviso that the plans were not final.

The bylaws governing the Lincoln Center redevelopment project require unanimity among the constituent groups. Although Lincoln Center has considered abolishing that rule, it is reluctant to proceed without the support of the Met, its largest arts organization.

How Ms. Sills handles the current standoff will be significant. As chairwoman, she is in a position to influence the rest of the Met board. She is also the only Met representative who actually votes on the Lincoln Center redevelopment board. In a telephone interview last week, Ms. Sills refused to state her position on the garage, deferring to Mr. Morris, who only recently became the Met's president. Mr. Morris did return calls seeking comment.

Some executives on the performing arts campus see Ms. Sills as caught between Mr. Volpe, with whom she is currently allied professionally, and Lincoln Center, where she started the redevelopment project as chairwoman. She disputed that view. "I do not represent Lincoln Center," Ms. Sills said. "I do not represent Joe."

Bruce Crawford, Lincoln Center's chairman, will also be a crucial broker. As a former general manager and president of the Met, Mr. Crawford has a long history of working with Mr. Volpe. He also has close relationships with other Met trustees and could therefore be a counterweight to Mr. Volpe.

"We're beginning to wrestle with a couple of issues with respect to garage access that the Met has raised again," Mr. Crawford said. "We should be able to address it in the next two weeks."

Nevertheless Mr. Volpe remains a force to be reckoned with. After 40 years with the opera house — 14 as general manager — Mr. Volpe has come to dominate the staff and board of the Met, often with tough negotiating tactics.

Other constituents say they are confident that the majority interest will prevail. "We all agreed upon a plan of action," said Linda LeRoy Janklow, chairwoman emeritus of Lincoln Center Theater, "and I'm assuming we'll go forward."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

October 31st, 2004, 07:15 AM
October 31, 2004

Move at Met Reverberates


During his 14 years as general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, Joseph Volpe has been big man on the Lincoln Center campus: derailing plans for the center's redevelopment, dominating the Met board and wielding the Met's power as the performing arts center's biggest and richest constituent.

So the naming on Friday of Mr. Volpe's successor - Peter Gelb, a record industry executive who will join the Met next summer and take over in 2006 - has major implications not only for the opera but for Lincoln Center, too.

Because of Mr. Volpe's outsize presence, some people do not realize the Met also has a chairman and a president, much less that Mr. Volpe technically works for them. Even when Beverly Sills, a large personality in her own right, became chairwoman of the Met two years ago, Mr. Volpe continued to upstage her, as he has the Met president, William C. Morris.

How Mr. Gelb will define his role at Lincoln Center remains to be seen, particularly as regards the rebuilding project, which aims to upgrade the entire campus. Mr. Gelb said on Friday that it was too early to discuss his views. "I defer comment on it because I'm not informed," he said.

He may decide to hand off involvement in the rebuilding effort, given that it was never part of the general manager's job description. The board of the Lincoln Center Redevelopment Corporation comprises the chairmen of the 11 constituent groups participating in the project. "That's really a board responsibility anyway," said Bruce Crawford, Lincoln Center's chairman. "The decisions will be made by the board representatives to Lincoln Center, which is Beverly, and Bill Morris."

While he would not comment specifically on Mr. Volpe's approach to the redevelopment project, Mr. Crawford said of Mr. Gelb: "He's a team player." Mr. Gelb produced the Met's television broadcasts when Mr. Crawford ran the company in the 1980's.

Though without a vote, Mr. Volpe simply took it upon himself to call the shots in redevelopment meetings and was successful in doing so. Mr. Volpe said Friday that he thought highly of Mr. Gelb, but was unsure if he was up to taking on Lincoln Center.

"Time will tell," Mr. Volpe said. "He's got a lot to learn."

Mr. Volpe has been a thorn in the side of Lincoln Center since the redevelopment plan's inception in 1999. Together with Ms. Sills, he quashed the ideas of constructing a Frank Gehry-designed glass atrium over the plaza and of building a new home for the New York City Opera in the arts complex's Damrosch Park.

In January 2001, the Met withdrew from the project on the grounds that it had been inadequately consulted. After being reassured that he would be more closely involved in the planning process, Mr. Volpe and the Met rejoined the effort four months later.

But a few months later, Marshall Rose, the real estate developer who was then chairman of the redevelopment project, resigned out of frustration over what he viewed as Mr. Volpe's obstructionism in achieving consensus.

In October 2003, Mr. Volpe challenged plans to reroute traffic into Lincoln Center's parking garage on the grounds that patrons could be delayed in arriving at the center. These questions threatened to thwart completion of a $400 million redesign of West 65th Street and adjacent portions of the Lincoln Center campus.

Then, at the meeting in April at which Lincoln Center's constituents finally approved the plans for 65th Street, Mr. Volpe deflated an otherwise celebratory gathering by insisting that language be added to the resolution requiring another vote before construction begins in spring 2006, to allow the Met another opportunity to approve the plans. He also later asked that the minutes of the meeting be changed to reflect the Met's proviso that the plans were not final.

Finally, in July, three months after Lincoln Center unveiled the architecture firm Diller Scofidio & Renfro's acclaimed design for transforming West 65th Street, Mr. Volpe again raised questions about garage access that threatened to delay the project.

Only in the last few weeks has he withdrawn his opposition - a shift most credit to the negotiating efforts of Mr. Crawford, who formerly served as president and general manager of the Met and who has a long relationship with Mr. Volpe.

Yet as recently as Friday, Mr. Volpe remained a voice of skepticism about the project. "Sixty-fifth Street is where it's at at this point," he said. "They're starting to work on the plaza. I don't think there are going to be any big issues, except where is the money going to come from.

"I thought for sure they were going to make an announcement by now," he continued. "The longer it delays, it means they don't have the lead gifts."

Needless to say, these public tensions over the redevelopment plan have the potential to damage Lincoln Center's image and fund-raising efforts.

And there could be other battles ahead. Lincoln Center is now turning to a redesign of its public spaces, including the fountain plaza and Damrosch Park. City Opera is hoping to move to the site of the former Red Cross building on Amsterdam Avenue, a deal that may require a transfer of air rights that Lincoln Center controls.

Mr. Volpe is not actually leaving until August 2006. He expects to be calling the shots until then. "I am in charge through July 31, 2006," he said. "Anything that happens on my watch, I'm in charge."

And if redevelopment plans arise that he finds unacceptable? "Then I will get into it," Mr. Volpe said. "You don't think the old theory of Volpe being a lame duck is true, do you?"

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

January 13th, 2005, 12:05 PM
The following article states that the redesign of the South campus by Diller, Scofidio & Renfro is to be completed in about a week. Work is set to begin in 2006. The redesign (extensive renovation) of Avery Fisher Hall by Lord Norman Foster is expected in the next few weeks. Avery Fisher will remain open during the two or three years of renovation (original plans have been greatly scaled down).

Lincoln Center Chairman Is to Resign
The New York Times, January 13, 2005

Bruce Crawford, who was brought in as Lincoln Center's chairman three years ago to be a stabilizing force in an institution roiled by infighting, will step down in June, he said in an interview yesterday. A search for a successor will begin immediately. "I think the time is right, for Lincoln Center and for me," Mr. Crawford said. "The biggest job at Lincoln Center these days is redevelopment. And redevelopment will be in a good place by the time I go."

When he assumed the post in June 2002, he said he would stay three to five years. In the interview in his office yesterday, Mr. Crawford, who turns 76 in March, said there was no significance to his leaving on the early side of that projection. "I'm at a stage when I would like a lighter schedule," he said. Throughout his time at Lincoln Center, he has also served as chairman of Omnicom Group, the marketing and communications conglomerate, a position he plans to retain.

Mr. Crawford's decision, to be formally announced today, comes in the midst of an ambitious fund-raising campaign for the first phase of Lincoln Center's major redevelopment plan: a $475 million overhaul of the institution's main artery, West 65th Street.

The plan, by Diller, Scofidio & Renfro, includes widening the street, installing new marquees and redesigning Alice Tully Hall, the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Juilliard School. Work is to begin in 2006.

Lincoln Center Inc., the center's parent organization, has committed itself to raising $320 million of the total cost - the individual arts institutions involved in the plan are responsible for the rest - and aims to have $200 million of that pledged by March. So far, Lincoln Center Inc. has raised about $66 million in private pledges and hopes to receive as much as $90 million from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

"I think it's quite doable," Mr. Crawford said of the plans. "I'm not concerned."

The chairman of Lincoln Center Inc. oversees 12 constituent groups, ranging from the Metropolitan Opera to the Chamber Music Society. The position is unpaid and can be part time, although Mr. Crawford's predecessor, Beverly Sills, went to the office nearly every day.

The role has expanded along with that of Lincoln Center Inc. itself. Once primarily the landlord of the campus, Linc Inc., as it is commonly called, has become an active producer, presenting some 400 events a year under rubrics like Great Performers, the Lincoln Center Festival and Mostly Mozart. The redevelopment project has also forced Lincoln Center's chairman to play a more prominent role as a fund-raiser and as the public face of the institution.

Mr. Crawford's planned departure leaves Lincoln Center looking for a new chairman just as the situation was beginning to become smoother at the organization, the country's largest performing arts center. The redevelopment - first announced as a $1.5 billion plan in 1999 - was hampered by clashes among the center's constituent groups, an economic downturn and turnover among senior executives.

Mr. Crawford was appointed largely to address this turmoil. With an elder statesman's gravitas and a businessman's no-nonsense manner, he has been, by many accounts, a welcome antidote to the bickering and occasional backstabbing among the center's various arts groups. Mr. Crawford was considered particularly suited to dealing with the mercurial Joseph Volpe, general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, who had stymied the redevelopment at key junctures because of his opposition to the plans. As a former president and general manager of the Met, Mr. Crawford has a long history with Mr. Volpe. Mr. Volpe has announced his own departure in 2006; he will be succeeded by Peter Gelb.

"He's gotten everybody to focus on, not just the big picture, but the minutiae of what it takes to do this," said Kate D. Levin, the New York City cultural affairs commissioner. "To make something that seemed so big and many-headed into a process that has obvious next steps and a sense of collegiality that is essential to getting it done."

Nevertheless, considerable hurdles to the redevelopment project remain, namely the redesign and capital campaign for Lincoln Center's South Campus. This area includes its largest and most influential arts groups: the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera.

The Diller firm's designs for the South Campus - including the fountain plaza and Damrosch Park - are to be completed in about a week, Mr. Crawford said, adding that they would be considerably more modest than the plans for West 65th Street.

Also ahead is the renovation of Avery Fisher Hall. A design by the architect Norman Foster is expected in the next few weeks. The plan builds on the idea of extending the stage into the audience to improve acoustics, Mr. Crawford said. The hall's reconstruction is to be conducted in segments over a two- to three-year period, so that the orchestra can stay put during the renovation.

Other approaches, discarded as too costly, included gutting the hall and rebuilding it from scratch. A merger between the Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall fell through in 2003. A final estimate for the Avery Fisher Hall project is still pending, Mr. Crawford said, adding that it would be lower than the initial projection of $300 million.

Tan from a recent trip to Florida but nursing a slight cold, Mr. Crawford stressed yesterday that he would remain active in Lincoln Center until he leaves in June. He said he believed that the redevelopment was in good hands with Reynold Levy, Lincoln Center's president. Mr. Levy, who sat in on the interview, pointed to what Lincoln Center had accomplished under Mr. Crawford: an expansion of the board, the revitalization of the Mostly Mozart Festival, the expansion of the American Songbook series and the opening of Frederick P. Rose Hall, the new home for Jazz at Lincoln Center. "I will miss him," Mr. Levy said.

It is too soon to speculate about who might succeed him, Mr. Crawford said yesterday. But the more obvious candidates include Frank A. Bennack Jr., the vice chairman of Lincoln Center's board, who heads the nominating committee, and Bruce Kovner, the chairman of the Juilliard School, who has been the prime mover behind the 65th Street project. Mr. Kovner is expected to contribute substantial sums of his own money to that renovation; he has already pledged $25 million toward the Juilliard portion. Other potential successors are Katherine G. Farley and Roy L. Furman, both members of the Lincoln Center board.

Mr. Crawford, a devoted opera fan, said he planned to remain a trustee of the Met. He served as its president in 1984 and 1985, becoming its general manager afterward. He left for Omnicom in 1989. He was re-elected Met president in 1991 and served until May 1999, when he retired.

"I found this a very challenging and at times frustrating endeavor," he said, "but over all a very happy one."

Copyright 2005, The New York Times Company

January 22nd, 2005, 09:04 AM
January 22, 2005

Preservationists Criticize Plans to Change Some of Lincoln Center's Open Spaces


A proposed renovation to Lincoln Center's north plaza would replace Dan Kiley's planters around the pool with planted trees and add a restaurant with a sloping grass roof, at left.

Preservationists and landscape architects have spoken out against important elements of Lincoln Center's redevelopment plan for its north campus, mainly on the grounds that the renovation would destroy the original design by Dan Kiley, one of the leading landscape architects of the last century.

At a meeting on Thursday night of Community Board 7, which covers the Upper West Side of Manhattan, critics focused on Lincoln Center's plan to alter the north plaza, which would involve changing the dimensions of its reflecting pool, in front of the Vivian Beaumont Theater, and the position of Henry Moore's sculpture within it. They also criticized a proposal to replace the plaza's L-shaped bosque of travertine planters with trees planted in the ground and with free-standing chairs.

"There seems to be no compelling justification for altering this historic and significant landscape design," said Ken Smith, the landscape architect who designed the new roof garden at the Museum of Modern Art and the landscape restoration at Lever House, in a letter read aloud at the meeting.

Kiley's work "stands alongside that of architects Eero Saarinen, Philip Johnson, Wallace Harrison and Max Abramowitz as an integral part of the Lincoln Center campus," he said.

The $475 million project, designed by the architectural firm Diller, Scofidio & Renfro, also calls for renovating Alice Tully Hall, the Film Society, the Juilliard School and Lincoln Center Theater.

Still, those who criticized aspects of the landscape redesign generally said they supported the redevelopment project as a whole. And several neighborhood residents spoke enthusiastically in favor of the plan, which also calls for widening the sidewalks on West 65th Street, giving them new signs and marquees, and installing a restaurant with a sloping grass roof on the north plaza near the reflecting pool.

"I am absolutely delighted with the reaction that's been accorded the Diller & Scofidio design by dozens of people," Reynold Levy, Lincoln Center's president, said in an interview yesterday.

Mentioning the preservationist critics, he continued: "We've been in dialogue with them on a continuous basis. We're listening to their views and we're thinking about what they're proposing." He added that Diller, Scofidio had redesigned 65th Street and its environs "with great sensitivity for the campus they inherited and with great respect for the originating architects and landscape designers."

The architect Elizabeth Diller did not return calls seeking comment yesterday.

The community board is scheduled to vote on the plan on Feb. 1 as part of a formal public approval process.

Kiley, who died last year, also designed Damrosch Park, on the complex's south side, which is not part of the first phase of the redevelopment. In a closed meeting yesterday at Lincoln Center, Diller, Scofidio presented its plans for the south campus, which, in addition to Damrosch Park, includes the fountain plaza and the three buildings surrounding it: the Metropolitan Opera, Avery Fisher Hall and the New York State Theater.

Preservationists and landscape architects at Thursday night's meeting took particular issue with the changes to the trees on the north plaza. "Kiley's travertine planters with their tightly spaced tree bosques give a strong sense of order extending the architecture of Lincoln Center into the landscape to create a unified campus space," Mr. Smith said in his letter.

Docomomo International, an organization that works to protect buildings and sites associated with 20th-century Modernism, voiced similar concerns about violating Kiley's "urban forest" concept. "The planters form an outdoor room that elegantly sets off the open plaza and its reflecting pool from the surrounding buildings and their programs, creating a well-conceived Modern public space," said John Arbuckle, co-chairman of Docomomo U.S.'s New York-Tristate chapter. "Their introduction of a Bryant Park-like environment, with its gravel beds and bistro chairs, may work well for other sites, but it is foreign to midcentury Modern architecture and Kiley's original design."

The Historic Districts Council, a citywide advocate for protecting historic areas, said in a statement that the plan for the north plaza "seems to be rough-handed in its treatment of the surviving Kiley landscape design elements." Specifically, the proposal to change the pool's dimensions and remove trees from its eastern edge "unfavorably alters the minimalist geometry of the landscape," it said.

Docomomo also protested plans to alter the facades of the Juilliard School and Alice Tully Hall, originally designed by Pietro Belluschi and Eduardo F. Catalano. "When this plan is executed, the Juilliard School-Alice Tully Hall building will cease to exist both as an all-too-rare example of well-designed Brutalist-style architecture in the United States and as the work of Belluschi and Catalano," Mr. Arbuckle said.

Michael Gotkin, a Manhattan landscape architect who works in historic preservation, presented an alternative plan at the meeting that would incorporate the new restaurant but maintain Kiley's original design. "I am fully convinced that Lincoln Center can accomplish its redevelopment goals," he said, and "at the same time preserve the most important elements of its historic modern campus."

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

April 25th, 2005, 12:16 PM
"Intelligencer: April 25–May 2"

Save the Somewhat Dreary!
Backseat architects fight for Lincoln Center’s past.

After being unable to stop the renovation of 2 Columbus Circle, the city’s modernist preservationists have a new sixties-heritage rallying point: Lincoln Center. Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s plans to alter the center include updating the Daniel Urban Kiley–designed North Plaza by depressing the travertine planters into the ground and narrowing the reflecting pool to create room for a new restaurant with a gently swooping, grass-covered paraboloid roof. “It maintains the essence of Kiley’s tranquil oasis without following it to the letter of the law,” Liz Diller told a recent Planning Commission meeting. “You don’t preserve something by destroying it but keeping its ‘essence,’ ” says landscape architect Michael Gotkin, who ambushed Diller after the meeting with his own solution. It preserves the pool by moving the restaurant. “Only five feet,” he said, sketch in hand. “It doesn’t work,” she said, tersely. And Gotkin stormed off.

—Alex French

Copyright © 2004 , New York Metro, Llc.

April 26th, 2005, 12:48 AM
Um, Lincoln Center can get the ax, just fine...

November 13th, 2005, 08:22 AM
Alice Tully, Could That Really Be You?

New York Times
By ROBIN POGREBIN (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=ROBIN POGREBIN&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=ROBIN POGREBIN&inline=nyt-per)
November 13, 2005



Rendering courtesy of Diller Scofidio+Renfro, in collaboration with FX Fowle

STROLLING down Broadway near West 65th Street, you could be forgiven for not really knowing that Alice Tully Hall is even there. The entrance is tucked under an overhang; the massive building is viewed as imposing and uninviting. The corner rarely attracts people, except when crowds congregate during the New York Film Festival.

But as reimagined by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, a design firm known for its focus on conceptual artwork, Tully Hall will take on an entirely different personality.

It will be transparent, with a three-story all-glass lobby framed by the canopy of the Juilliard School's new cantilevered extension. (Dance rehearsals will be visible from the street and plaza.) "We asked ourselves the question," Elizabeth Diller said: " 'Why is it all of the other major halls have big exhibitionistic lobbies and Tully's is nearly invisible?' "


Rendering courtesy of Diller Scofidio+Renfro, in collaboration with FX Fowle

It will be more welcoming, with an outdoor grandstand where people can meet or hang out and an information kiosk below. And it will be grander, with auditorium walls sculpted out of translucent custom-molded resin panels sheathed in wood veneer. Light will be emitted directly through the panels to create a glowing theatrical womb.

The hall - the venue for events involving the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Juilliard, Great Performers and the Film Society - is the first major piece of the center's $500 million transformation of West 65th Street, the performing arts center's main artery. The architects' larger plan for Lincoln Center includes a restaurant with a grass roof, a new entrance for Juilliard and a redesign of Damrosch Park.

Not so long ago, the husband-and-wife team of Ms. Diller and Ricardo Scofidio - recently joined by Charles Renfro - was known chiefly for its mixed-media installations and performance pieces. Among those were a 300-foot-long cloud for Swiss Expo '02 and "Para-site," a Museum of Modern Art installation that used video-monitor shots and mirror reflections of visitors to explore issues of surveillance.

In recent years Diller Scofidio has emerged as the go-to firm for sleek urban architectural projects. It designed the High Line, a verdant meandering path now planned for the abandoned elevated railway along the West Side of Manhattan, for example, and the master plan for the BAM Cultural District, which intersperses new arts buildings with public spaces in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn.

Alice Tully Hall, in its 1960's-era surroundings, is a different animal. Although dwarfed by Avery Fisher Hall across the way, it feels less intimate than its dimensions might allow and is faulted for its "dry" acoustics. It has not been meaningfully upgraded since it was built in 1969.

Work is to start next summer, with completion expected in the fall of 2008; the building will grow to 79,524 gross square feet from 54,876 at a cost of $100 million.

The project will test whether the architects can reconcile a high-concept approach with Lincoln Center's quotidian needs. Equally important, can the complex move beyond its image as a fortress of high culture to accommodate a more youthful sensibility and crowd?

Rendering courtesy of Diller Scofidio+Renfro, in collaboration with FX Fowle

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)


November 13th, 2005, 09:31 AM
its a little confusing

November 13th, 2005, 09:50 AM
^ Grotesque.

November 13th, 2005, 10:38 AM
grotesque is what is there now.

November 13th, 2005, 11:02 AM
grotesque is what is there now.
Do you mean the Belluschi/Catalano building or the whole complex?

November 13th, 2005, 12:26 PM
Well what is there doesn't really bother me anyway. So I am not all that sure about this new change.

November 13th, 2005, 01:00 PM
I see nothing wrong with the current Alice Tully Hall.

It's a nice scene change, a bit of traditional blase helping to transition the pedestrian from the UWS streetscape to the monumentality of Lincoln Centre.

This new design attempts to draw too much attention to itself, at the expense of both the UWS and Lincoln Centre. It corresponds to neither.

November 13th, 2005, 01:20 PM
...nothing wrong with the current Alice Tully Hall.

It's a nice scene change...helping to transition the pedestrian from the UWS streetscape to the monumentality of Lincoln Centre.

This new design attempts to draw too much attention to itself, at the expense of both the UWS and Lincoln Centre. It corresponds to neither.

A big, fat waste of money.

* * *

I confess to having doubts generally about the competence of Diller and Scofidio. Bad judgment seems to follow them around like a puppy. I think of them as our homegrown version of Thom Mayne, who's also an exhibitionistic hack. Oh, and add Stephen Holl to the list.


November 16th, 2005, 10:11 PM
November 16, 2005

Lincoln Center sets scene for face-lift
More flash to draw younger crowds; bond offering plan


By Miriam Kreinin Souccar

A brand-new, glass-enclosed destination restaurant overlooks throngs of theatergoers, a TKTS-style booth for day-of ticket sales draws lines around the block, and brightly lit, electronic marquees on theaters tout coming attractions .

Sound like Times Square? Guess again.

This scene could be the future of Lincoln Center, the biggest performing arts complex in the world, which is about to undergo the first major face-lift in its 50-year history. Like other institutions scrambling to maintain their vitality, Lincoln Center hopes a more modern campus will draw new, and younger, fans as audiences age and attendance at classical music institutions declines.

"We hope the halo effect of a beautiful new design for Lincoln Center will attract more ticket buyers," says President Reynold Levy. "We want it to be a hip and exciting place."

Mr. Levy says the venerable institution has already raised "a substantial portion" of the $500 million needed to finance the redevelopment of West 65th Street--the first piece of a decade-long project--through large private gifts.

He also told Crain's that the arts complex will issue more than $100 million worth of tax-exempt municipal bonds through the Trust for Cultural Resources of the City of New York next month to augment funding.

Next summer, Lincoln Center will break ground on the West 65th Street project, expanding a number of the member institutions in that area, including The Juilliard School and The Film Society.

The three-year project is just the first on a long list of plans to tear down forbidding walls and turn the 16.3-acre block of arts buildings into a welcoming public oasis. The project has wide support among board members and city government officials.

Wrong plan

Even so, some arts executives think pouring millions of dollars into construction is the wrong way to draw crowds. They say the institution should invest in new programming instead.

"There is an enormous amount of money about to be put into buildings, and I don't think that's going to get one more person into an auditorium or one better artist on stage," says Herman Krawitz, president of New World Records and the chief planner of the Metropolitan Opera House when it was built.

Mr. Krawitz suggests that the money should be spent on attracting more big-name talent and lowering ticket prices.

But observers note that expensive renovations have helped boost attendance at a number of arts institutions in the past, most recently at the Museum of Modern Art. Long lines of tourists still wait patiently to pay their $20 to get into the museum's new $800 million home nearly a year after its debut.

Lincoln Center's plan is even more sweeping. When the first part of the project is finished in 2009, visitors will find a significantly changed place.

Much of the design for West 65th Street, by architecture firm Diller Scofidio & Renfro, was announced last year. It includes a brand-new restaurant near Lincoln Center Theater and a number of new food kiosks where visitors can buy sandwiches and eat them on the restaurant's grass roof.

Juilliard will get new facilities, including a black-box theater, rehearsal rooms, a student lounge and a dance studio. Alice Tully Hall will get a grand new entrance. And the Film Society will get two new theaters.

New proposals are under way as well. The New York Philharmonic is working on a $300 million redesign of its auditorium that will probably begin during the 2009-10 season. Plans are also in the works to create a joint box office for Lincoln Center's 12 constituents, much like Broadway's TKTS booth, which would offer day-of-performance tickets and discounts.

Stamp of approval

Trendsetters in the under-35 crowd--a segment all arts institutions are clambering to attract--seem to approve of the upcoming changes at Lincoln Center.

"The architecture firm they are using is very forward-thinking, and I like the direction they're going with Lincoln Center," says Sascha Lewis, co-founder of Flavorpill, a digital publishing company that recommends cultural events to people who consider themselves hip urbanites.

"They use a lot of technology and multimedia in their architecture, which makes a lot of sense for Lincoln Center if they want to reposition the brand, reach a younger demographic and make it a destination."

©2005 Crain Communications Inc.

November 16th, 2005, 10:32 PM
As it is, the North Plaza is one of the most beautiful spaces in New York.

To rip it up would be criminal.

Who is going to put a stop to this radically revisionist anti-modernism sweeping the city?

November 16th, 2005, 11:42 PM
As it is, the North Plaza is one of the most beautiful spaces in New York.
Hear, hear!

To rip it up would be criminal.
Totally pointless.

Who is going to put a stop to this radically revisionist anti-modernism sweeping the city?
No one. It'll suffer the same fate as 2 Columbus Center, and for the same reason; it's at that awkward forty-year age when it's too old to be the latest thing and too young to be considered "historic." Under those conditions it takes a real connoisseur to see its merits, or an objective art historian. There should be both on the Landmarks Commission, but clearly that's not the case. They'll drop this ball as they did the last, while they rescue trivial hyperbolic paraboloids in the outer boroughs.

As for the public, they wait to be told what to think by the experts and the newspaper columnists.



November 17th, 2005, 04:05 AM
"We want it to be a hip and exciting place."

"They use a lot of (........) multimedia in their architecture, which makes a lot of sense for Lincoln Center if they want to reposition the brand, reach a younger demographic and make it a destination."

"......Trendsetters in the under-35 crowd--a segment all arts institutions are clambering to attract."

".....a number of new food kiosks where visitors can buy sandwiches and eat them on the restaurant's grass roof. "

".....a more modern campus will draw new, and younger, fans."

In other words: "We gonna dumb things down"

November 17th, 2005, 07:13 AM
In other words: "We gonna dumb things down"
That seems to be the drift, but they do have a problem: the average age of the audience is way too old. They need to do something about that, but I agree the key is programming, not architecture. Give the task to the impresarios, and leave the architects out of it (except for maybe improving the street between Juilliard and the rest of the Center).

November 17th, 2005, 09:29 AM
There is no getting around the fact that the "plaza" on Broadway between 65 / 66 is terrible and also run down / falling apart. Or that 65th street is / was horribly thought out (now it is basically a huge alley / service road).

Both need to be corrected.

Not to say the current plan is the best possible.

And I agree that the North Plaza with the reflecting pool is fantastic as is. The "sloping lawn" idea is stupid; grass in NYC doesn't work unless you fence it off (i.e. Central Park) or make it fake (i.e. 55 Water St.).

November 17th, 2005, 09:48 AM
Agreed. Changes should be made...mistakes were made in the past and times/needs change. It would be nice though, if it could be done aiming high...without popular gimmicks. There´s such fear now in the US about "elitism" and all that BS...

November 17th, 2005, 11:28 AM
Yeah they don't need to chage the reflecting pool plaza at all. Waste of cash. But I am really happy that they are getting rid off that bridge and that garage entrace on 65th street.

January 22nd, 2006, 12:01 AM
Gehry's proposal for Lincoln Center which was scrapped a couple of years ago...



January 22nd, 2006, 02:23 AM
Don't like it. Feels like you're under some kind of giant spider web about to be devoured.

January 22nd, 2006, 09:14 AM
Covering the Plaza was not a good idea from the beginning ...

TLOZ Link5
January 22nd, 2006, 01:59 PM
Don't like it. Feels like you're under some kind of giant spider web about to be devoured.

Perhaps for added effect, they could have bolted some of Louis Bourgeois's sculptures onto it.

January 23rd, 2006, 12:48 AM
Perhaps for added effect, they could have bolted some of Louis Bourgeois's sculptures onto it.
You are so right ...

TLOZ Link5
January 23rd, 2006, 03:08 PM
Perfect year-round Halloween decorations.

March 23rd, 2006, 12:38 PM
Lincoln Center Remake Gets Final Approval

March 21, 2006

Diller Scofidio + Renfro and FX Fowle's plans to transform much of New York's Lincoln Center were formally approved at a board meeting of the Lincoln Center Development Project (LCDP) on March 13. Preliminary construction is set to begin this week.

The scheme, which involves refashioning existing buildings, streets and landscaping along West 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues, will be the first major set of changes to the complex since it was built in the 1960's. Plans include creating more contemporary and transparent façades for buildings along the street, rehabilitating most interiors, and adding dramatic lighting elements like LED light "mats" set into 65th Street. The project also calls for narrowing 65th Street and adding a slender transparent bridge over the street, creating a new sloping "campus green" and restaurant at the complex's North Plaza, and expanding and resurfacing of the North Plaza's reflecting pool.

Preservationists have complained about changes to the North Court, which was designed by landscape architect Dan Kiley. Lincoln Center is still in conversation with preservationists on this issues, says Betsy Vorce, a spokesperson for Lincoln Center.

Otherwise the plan, says Vorce, is essentially the same as what was unveiled to the public in May 2004, except for a few minor "refinements," most of them not visible to the public.

Institutions along 65th street include The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts' administrative offices, the School of American Ballet, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

The changes, say Lincoln Center, will not only update the site's aesthetics and encourage pedestrian activity, but will improve pedestrian and traffic safety, open the street to light and air, and expand The Juilliard School, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall and the School of American Ballet.

Construction on the $500 million project begins this week and is scheduled to be completed in 2009. Fundraising is still ongoing, says Vorce.

Sam Lubell


June 12th, 2006, 03:12 AM
June 12, 2006
In Lincoln Center's Upgrade, the Main Plaza Gets a Gracious Entrance

Slightly lighter touch: design for the fountain in Lincoln Center's plaza.

There is no cymbal-crashing flourish — nothing, say, like the soaring glass atrium that Frank Gehry proposed for Lincoln Center's plaza years ago. Nor has the fountain been reconceived as a linear lawn sprinkler on a monumental scale, although the architects in charge, Diller Scofidio & Renfro, considered the possibility.

In planning an upgrade of Lincoln Center's Columbus Avenue entrance and Josie Robertson Plaza, an entry point for the Metropolitan Opera House, the New York State Theater and Avery Fisher Hall, the constituent groups on campus were loud and clear: Don't mess with the 42-year-old fountain.

And while architects typically like to make bold design moves to leave their stamp on a project, Diller Scofidio & Renfro came to agree that it was best not to fix what wasn't broken.

"It's the most successful part of the campus," Elizabeth Diller, the lead architect on the project, said of the 1960's plaza, which — apart from its functional role — has entered the public consciousness as a symbol of New York. The conceptual designs for what Lincoln Center bills as "the Promenade Project" are to be unveiled today at a news conference attended by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. In addition to a slightly modified fountain, the designs call for a new grand staircase stretching over an underground drop-off point for cars. Currently people heading to a Lincoln Center performance from the east side of Broadway must cross 11 lanes of traffic just to reach the sidewalk, then ascend a short staircase and traverse two lanes of cars dropping people off. Taxis must stop for crossing pedestrians, creating a line of cars and congestion at curtain time.

"To us this was really the evil protagonist of the project," Ms. Diller said. "Not only is there no gracious way to enter, but you're assaulted by traffic lanes and then bump into the Jersey barriers," or concrete security rails.

About 40 percent of the traffic headed to performances comes from the existing roadway in front of the plaza, with 20 percent more at the Columbus Avenue curb and the rest at Lincoln Center's other access points. The new design aims to make drop-off and pickup traffic more evenly distributed.

In what is perhaps the most striking structural change, the new submerged roadway will dip to Lincoln Center's existing concourse level. A staircase will now extend over that area. From the underground concourse, visitors can take an elevator or escalator up to the plaza, or use concourse-level entrances to the three main performance sites.

The staircase above will grow from 13 feet to 40 feet. The steps have been made broader and less steep for a more gradual climb. And the staircase is flanked by ramps for the disabled topped by thin glass canopies, each one leading to the arcades of Avery Fisher and the State Theater.

Within each step, scrolling L.E.D. lights behind translucent glass will announce events at Lincoln Center. Ms. Diller called it "a kind of electronic welcome mat, that gives you the general marquee information about what's playing."

The upgrade is the second phase of an ambitious redevelopment project at Lincoln Center. For the first phase — a $650 million overhaul of West 65 Street that is already under way — Lincoln Center plans to announce today that it has raised $339 million, or 75 percent, of its $459 million share of the project ($50 million of which will go toward endowment). The constituent groups involved in the 65th Street project paid for the rest.

In collaboration with FXFowle Architects, Diller, Scofidio & Renfro also handled the 65th Street redesign, which includes an upgraded streetscape and a refurbished Alice Tully Hall, Juilliard School and Film Society.

"It's been 50 years," Ms. Diller said. "There are areas that need tweaking, areas that have entirely changed, areas they didn't get right in the first place. There are legends here, and there are ghosts in the air. As we go through every part of the site, we're really thinking through its own history."

In addressing the entrance and plaza — Lincoln Center's so-called south campus — the architects had a mandate to lighten the aesthetic of Lincoln Center, making it feel less like a hulking bastion of classical music and dance and more like an accessible contemporary arts center where people will come to relax and enjoy the scene even when they are not attending performances.

"One of the urbanistic problems of Lincoln Center is the campus is really divorced from the city, kind of a Acropolian structure — white — that sets itself off from the street," Ms. Diller said. "We wanted to make it transparent, make it float, open up as many surfaces as possible."

The architects tried to honor the center's original weighty aesthetic even as they updated it. "We're trying to riff off of some of this 60's stuff, even though these buildings were of questionable architectural merit," Ms. Diller said. "It's a particular mode of monumental Modernism that at this point, looking back, is pretty interesting."

Asked if she was disappointed that she was not doing something more dramatic with Lincoln Center's most visible real estate, Ms. Diller said, "It's a big balancing act," adding, "We're doing some very large gestures in other parts of the campus."

It was clear to all concerned that the entrance and plaza needed work. Aside from the traffic problems, there was the question of clutter — makeshift stages for plaza events like Midsummer Night Swing, temporary bars, security barriers, garbage cans. "It's kind of ad hoc blight," Ms. Diller said. "What we'd like to do is consolidate all the junk."

The Promenade Project also includes a complete repaving of the plaza and new grassy areas on either side of the staircase. Redoing the south campus is expected to cost about $160 million, said Frank A. Bennack Jr., Lincoln Center's chairman. The West 65th Street project has drawn more than $22 million in financing from federal agencies, $30 million from New York State and up to $90 million from the city. Private contributions so far total $197 million, including 19 gifts of $5 million or more. Of those, nine were $10 million or more.

Mr. Bennack said debate among Lincoln Center's constituents was robust but amicable. The fountain was initially a sticking point, he said, with some resisting the architects' suggestion that it be shifted off center and digitized, reconceived as a sprinkler, pulsing from one side to another or used to create a tranquil outdoor space, with four walls of water.

"I began to see how absolutely sentimental this thing was, caught up in the iconography of this place," Ms. Diller said. "If you pull it out, you're thwarting the identity of Lincoln Center."

The conceptual designs were ultimately approved in March. The architects kept the fountain where it was, but streamlined its design. As before, the rim is made of black stone and remains six feet wide. But rather than sitting on a heavy base, it will be suspended from three different points in a tension ring structure and will appear to float, with water cascading behind it and pooling underneath.

To the eye it will not look so very different. "It's something everyone has a sense of affection about," said Reynold Levy, Lincoln Center's president. "Meet me at the fountain."

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

June 12th, 2006, 04:04 PM



June 12th, 2006, 04:19 PM
Don't like it.
Nothing architecturally interesting or of lasting value.
Looks like they'll have to redo it again in 20 years.
Btw, are those wires I see strung up all over the place?

June 12th, 2006, 04:26 PM
Not an improvement over what is there. Cars handled in suburban fashion with silly patch of grass as buffer. Canopy clashes. Waste of money, not worth doing.

That architectural firm regularly misses the boat.

Hope they don't do it.

June 12th, 2006, 04:36 PM
Well, don't you know?
In this city, if the design happens to be fantastic, it gets bogged down and eventually gets cancelled. On the other hand, if it is ugly or dumb, then it gets built and quite quickly, I might add. So yes, they'll do it.

Is there a terminology for that kind of phenomenon?

June 12th, 2006, 04:43 PM
OMG!!!...the lava-lamp retouch of the fountain! (goooollly.... it´s transparent!).

And they were also pushing for multi-colored water!

The Opera House was always on shaky ground asthetically, but this puts a nail in the coffin.

You can see just how stupid these designers are by the tall grass they´ve chosen for that lawn...or what ever it is.

Heaven help us.

June 12th, 2006, 04:57 PM
They should not cut down the trees.

June 12th, 2006, 05:16 PM
The more I see of this the worse it gets. These architects are f r a n t i c to do something genuinely original, but they just don't have the brains.

Makes you realize the value of architects who do, such as Gehry, Foster, Calatrava or Meier.

No brains, no taste.


June 12th, 2006, 07:02 PM
This seems like the silliest project I've ever seen. Especially with so many parts about that campus that could use improving (try buildozing the projects directly behind for starters)- the main Lincoln Center does not need improving, it's done to memorable perfection as is.

June 13th, 2006, 12:33 AM
Makes you realize the value of architects who do, such as Gehry, Foster, Calatrava or Meier.

Weren't Foster and Gehry were once involved in this project to some extent I have not been following this project closely what happened to their involvement?

One thing I must say about Calatrava is that he raves about how much he loves New York and stuff. But wait till some of his future projects come along, he is going to be in for a rude awakening. It is sooo freaking hard to build something great in this city nowadays and him as a great architect he may just end up running away from NYC like his hair is on fire. So far he's gotten his transit hub underway (thankfully) but 80 South Street is pretty much dead in the water and I'm not too sure about that gondola of his getting through.

Now the only reason I say this is because I'm being a pessimistic New Yorker due to previous disappointments. I really hope that this does not happen because Calatrava could do a lot of great things for this city if they (developers) don't constrain him to mediocrity (the way it seemingly happened to Gehry with Beekman) or they simply just avoid him because he may just be too liberal with his designs.

June 13th, 2006, 09:17 AM
NY Sun
June 13, 2006

Culture Desk

Lincoln Center Redesigns Harmony


Lincoln Center ceremonially broke ground yesterday morning on the first phase of its redevelopment, the so-called West 65th Street Project; unveiled plans for its second phase, the redesign of the approach to Lincoln Center from Columbus Avenue; and announced the finalists in the competition to redesign the Harmony Atrium, a currently depressed and little-used public passageway between Broadway and Columbus Avenue.

At a news conference after the groundbreaking - at which Mayor Bloomberg, Elizabeth Diller of the architectural firm in charge of the redevelopment, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and the Juilliard graduate and fourtime Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald all spoke - the chairman of Lincoln Center, Frank A. Bennack Jr., announced that Lincoln Center has raised 75% of its $459 million share of the costs for the West 65th Street Project.

The project is already underway, and the public will start to see evidence of construction soon. The Paul Milstein Plaza, which extends over 65th Street and is a hangout for Juilliard students, will be destroyed, and a temporary footbridge constructed between the Rose Building and the plaza level by Lincoln Center Theater. This will eventually be replaced by a translucent glass footbridge.

The second phase of redevelopment, the Promenade Project, will create a much grander approach to the Josie Robertson Plaza from the street level of Columbus Avenue. Diller Scofidio + Renfro collaborated with FX Fowle to come up with a plan in which the car drop-off lanes will be submerged to the concourse level, allowing pedestrians to walk up a monumental stairway without dodging taxis or skirting the line of barriers that currently blocks the entrance to Lincoln Center.

"We believe Lincoln Center deserves a dignified entrance like other major civic and cultural buildings of New York," Ms. Diller said in her speech. "It should have an extended threshold that transitions from the quotidian to the extraordinary."

In just one of the many digital aspects of the redevelopment plan, the vertical faces of the new steps will feature L.E.D displays, offering upto-the-minute information on Lincoln Center programming. The plaza will be repaved with more durable materials, but its iconic appearance, including the central fountain, will remain largely unchanged.

The president of Lincoln Center, Reynold Levy, announced that Lincoln Center has reached an agreement with the owner of the Harmony Atrium to turn the underutilized passageway into a space that would link the many institutions of Lincoln Center and include a discount ticket booth offering same-day tickets to all of its venues. Mr. Levy named the two architectural firms in competition to redesign the Harmony Atrium: Morphosis, of Santa Monica, and Tod Williams Billie Tsien & Associates, of New York. One of the two plans - which were not available yesterday but were described by the architects in interviews - will be chosen this summer.

The plans seem to be quite different, with the Morphosis plan relying heavily on the high-tech digital displays that crop up elsewhere in the Lincoln Center redesign,and the Tod Williams Billie Tsien plan emphasizing more old-fashioned, physical experiences.

Thom Mayne, the founder of Morphosis and winner of the 2005 Pritzker Award - architecture's Nobel Prize - described their plan as being "one smooth, fluid space of movement, part traditional architectural and part information." Curved walls and ceilings would become surfaces for L.E.D., computer, and video displays. "The whole space is basically made up of information," Mr. Mayne said.

Tod Williams Billie Tsien's plan, by contrast, would create a space where a person could sit down for a glass of wine before going to a Lincoln Center performance. Mr. Williams and Ms. Tsien want to build the "world's largest coffee table" - a 20-by-40-foot table made out of the same polished travertine as Lincoln Center's main buildings. Visitors could sit at it (or on it) to have a bite to eat; for live performances, it would become a stage. They also want to create the "world's largest solari board" - the kind of information board, with its distinctive clicking sound, found at train stations. The board would sometimes display Lincoln Center information, sometimes visual designs programmed by artists.

Despite the possibility for computerprogrammed designs, the Tod Williams Billie Tsien plan is decidedly lower-tech than the Morphosis plan. "What draws people to Lincoln Center is the ability to see people physically doing something, whether it's dancing, playing an instrument, or singing," Ms.Tsien said. "Especially in Times Square, there's all these digital crawls and huge images on the side of buildings, and after a while you don't see it anymore. We thought we would make something that's happening physically - a sort of mechanical thing."

In the course of the 65th Street Project, the Alice Tully Hall box office will be closed for much of the summer, as construction takes place for an expansion of Alice Tully Hall and Juilliard.

Some Juilliard dance students eating lunch on the Milstein Plaza yesterday were slightly disgruntled about its destruction, and about the construction in general, which they will graduate too soon to enjoy the benefits of."It's a communal space where people just hang out or eat lunch," explained ArikaYamada, a second-year student.

"We don't really have a campus, so this is the only place to meet, or if we have a 30-minute break between classes, to come and get outside for a little bit," said Brett Perry, a third year student.

Asked if she was mollified by the promise of a new green for Juilliard students, Ms. Yamada said, "Yeah, if it's a huge green field. But I also heard that there's going to be restaurants and all these commercial things underneath." (The green will be the roof of a new restaurant.)

"I don't really like the architecture [of the redesign]," Ms. Yamada said. "I really like this classic architecture - it's historical, it's a landmark."

Both she and Mr. Perry, though, were aware that future Juilliard students would enjoy several benefits, including more studio space and locker rooms, wireless Internet, and a new, glass studio visible from Broadway."The process is not going to be that fun, but the finished product is going to be cool," said Mr. Perry. "I'm really excited about the studio that's going to overlook Broadway, so that people from the street can look up and see us take class."

Meanwhile, work began Friday on the construction of two new studios for the School of American Ballet, in the Rose Building. The design of the new studios, which are essentially glass boxes steel-cantilevered to "float" over existing studios,are also the work of Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

SAB had been looking for a way to build a new studio above one of its existing double-height studios for some time, but hadn't come up with a plan that worked. When Ms. Diller saw the space, she immediately visualized what had to happen. "Peter [Martins, faculty chair of SAB and ballet master of New York City Ballet] and Liz [Diller] walked into the studios, and she just saw it right away," said the executive director of SAB, Marjorie Van Dercook. "She said, 'Oh they have to float.'" Ms. Diller's glass-box design meant that both upper and lower studios could have natural light. "When she showed us the model, we decided to do two new studios instead of one, because it was so exciting," said Ms. Van Dercook.

© 2006 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.

June 13th, 2006, 01:45 PM
Most of this seems a depressing and pointless waste of money. At best, they'll have spent hundreds of millions of dollars and end up with nothing better than they had. If they can't spend their money more wisely, why don't they just give it to their various arts organizations to spend as they see fit?

June 13th, 2006, 01:47 PM

June 13th, 2006, 03:48 PM
Marshland. That's what comes to mind.
A place to go for ticks in addition to the Opera.

June 13th, 2006, 04:01 PM
Seems like they're moving some of the pedestrian traffic underground. Takes away from the plaza.

I'm really having a hard time visualizing the changes planned for Lincoln Center. There were earlier designs that completely changed Alice Tully hall. Is that not happening now? Are there renderings of the 65th Street changes and North Plaza?

June 13th, 2006, 05:57 PM
Are there renderings of the 65th Street changes and North Plaza?
They were posted earlier and are --if anything-- even worse.

Look on page 3 of this thread.


June 13th, 2006, 06:58 PM
What an awful waste of money. And how will people navigate the
grassy knolls and all those steps in the dead of winter. What all the
theaters really need is more restrooms. The only ladies room open
pre-performance at the Met has 4 stalls. :eek:

June 20th, 2006, 12:22 AM
Can someone stop this grotesque miscarriage?

Even worse than what they're doing to 2 Columbus Circle, and similarly motivated.

June 20th, 2006, 12:24 AM
Where are the NIMBYs when you really need them?

June 20th, 2006, 12:50 AM
Where are the NIMBYs when you really need them?

I think you might have scared them away now that we really need em. ;)

June 20th, 2006, 12:55 AM
I think they've got their hands full with the Con Ed site and Atlantic Yards.

June 20th, 2006, 01:42 AM
I know I'm going to offend some of you by saying this, but I personally like what is planned for Alice Tully Hall. That particular building is far less attractive than the rest of Lincoln Center. It will look better with more glass (if it's good glass) and I like the angled corner on Broadway with the little stepped structure.

I do agree that the rest of the project is pointless. There's nothing wrong with Lincoln Center.

June 20th, 2006, 01:42 PM

I like the new stair, it's monumental and defers to the existing buildings. The glassed in grass is very strange. Urban grass? Along Broadway? Submerging the traffic is not a bad idea, but it still remains a huge barrier. realistically, noone enters Lincoln center perpendicular from across B-way, they enter parallel on Bway from the North and the south.
The fountain is good, basically the same.

June 20th, 2006, 01:47 PM
the new plan is not that different, other than the car ramps


June 20th, 2006, 01:50 PM
Are those Jersey barriers? What will replace them?

September 26th, 2006, 03:33 PM
A Little Sun Goes a Long Way
September 26, 2006

In this highly litigious city of ours, nothing is ever certain. The best laid plans can be held up indefinitely in the courts, and where government is involved, one man, usually Sheldon Silver, can countermand a hundred other rulings, as he did regarding the ill-fated Jets Stadium on the far West Side and as he threatens to do again with the renovation of Penn Station.

The one exception to this fecklessness is the fait accompli, that point from which there is no turning back. Go to Lincoln Center these days, and you will find that Milstein Plaza, which had been suspended across West 65th for almost 40 years, has completely vanished, as part of Lincoln Center's massive modernization effort, led by the architectural firm of Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

Until a few weeks ago, Milstein Plaza's sluggish travertine mass covered almost half of 65th Street, from Broadway to Amsterdam Avenue, in perpetual night. On one side it hid the entrance to a massive garage under the Metropolitan Opera, on the other, the entrance of the Peter Sharp Theatre. But the garage rather than the theater determined the spirit of the place, and the garage itself seemed tolerable and appropriate only in virtue of that sense of dank sleaziness that marked the unadorned underside of the plaza. Like a toxic trace, the malign effects had spread far beyond the entrance of the garage, making 65th Street a series of inglorious back doors to the various entities, Juilliard, Avery Fisher and the Performing Arts Library, that had emphatically turned their backs on it. Bracketing these back doors were dull and interminable lengths of masonry. And it did not help matters that, closer to Broadway, the street was flanked by the mediocrity of Max Abramowicz's Avery Fisher Hall to the south and by the brutalist gracelessness of Pietro Belluschi's Juilliard School to the north.

Now, with the plaza finally removed, it is a pleasure to see daylight returning to this forlorn street. Suddenly the visions of the architects, which had a pie-in-the-sky quality until a few weeks ago, seem within reach. In Diller Scofidio + Renfro's conception, the street is to become a destination in itself, equipped with restaurants in a part of the city that, oddly, has far fewer culinary options than you would expect, given the thousands of potential diners who flood the area each evening.

At the same time, the entrances to the various venues, especially the Samuel B. and David Rose Building, will be made more emphatic, such as to seem consequential in their own right. In the process, the heavy travertine masonry will give way to transparent facades at street level for the Chamber Music Society and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, as well as the School of American Ballet, among others institutions.

The Milstein Plaza itself, which served as a kind of bridge across the 65th Street, as well as a plaza in its own right, will be replaced by a frail glassy foot-bridge whose very fragility will doubtless serve, visually as well as functionally, as a post-modern riposte to the modernist heaviness of what was there before.

Perhaps most striking of all, Alice Tully Hall, at the Eastern end of Belluschi's Juilliard building, will be entirely reconceived in highly angular deconstructivist fashion, as a bellicose protrusion into Broadway. In the context of so much change for the better, there is something joyous in seeing all the chaos, all the excavations, even the scaffolding that surrounds the area.

But if the realization of this project is still at least a year away, a small but significant modification of the Metropolitan Opera was unveiled just this past week, tucked into the southern corner of the ground floor, facing Lincoln Center's main plaza. It is perhaps the only important change that the façade of Wallace K. Harrison's ungainly opera house has sustained since its completion exactly 40 years ago. The new arrival, an art space called Gallery Met, was designed by the young and fashionable Lindy Roy. Its most striking feature is its mirrored exterior, which makes no sense in the context of the larger building, but is dramatic all the same. As for the interior, it is a slightly irregular space, roughly the size of one of Chelsea's smaller galleries. It flows into the main lobby of the opera house, from which it is divided by two elegantly spare faux marble partitions. Best of all are the terrazzo floors, which are part of the original building, but are here revealed to best effect.

Unfortunately, the art itself is not equal to the space. Guest curator Dodie Kazanjian has chosen, in seemingly formulaic fashion, the usual blue chip artists of the moment (David Salle, John Currin, George Condo, and seven others) none of whom distinguishes himself in fulfilling the assignment, to create a work involving the heroine of one of the operas performed this season at the Met. Still, Lincoln Center, that magnet for vultures of culture, has always aspired to embrace all of the arts, and this new gallery — which replaces an older, subterranean space — is a noteworthy step in that direction.


October 26th, 2006, 11:35 AM
NY Sun
October 26, 2006

Lincoln Center Grows a Green Roof


There wasn't a reflecting pool, and the decrepit warehouse in the background didn't look much like the Met Opera House, but other than that, the miniature lawn installed in a Jersey City parking lot gave a visitor a good sense of what Lincoln Center's future campus lawn –– a grass roof to be installed on top of an as-yet-unnamed restaurant –– will look like. The turf was bright green; the ground, firm and dry, invited sitting or reclining. Except for the chill October wind, it was the perfect spot for a picnic.

Don't rush to pack your sandwiches, though. The green roof — part of Lincoln Center's $650 million West 65th St. redevelopment plan –– won't be installed until the spring or summer of 2009. In the meantime, the architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and FX Fowle Architects, in collaboration with a turf expert, Frank Rossi, and a horticulturalist, William Harder, have been testing a mock-up of the lawn, 1/16 the size of the real one, in a little-used parking lot in New Jersey. Yesterday afternoon, the various parties assembled to check on the state of the lawn.

Over the last year, the architects and their experts have tracked the condition and appearance of three types of grass planted on the mock-up. Mr. Rossi, a professor of turfgrass science at Cornell University, said they're close to declaring a winner. A special variety of the turf-type "tall fescue" kept its color best through the winter.

The architects also wanted to try out the effectiveness of the irrigation and drainage system they had planned. Although there are many green roofs in Manhattan –– Bryant Park, above the New York Public Library stacks, is one –– Lincoln Center's lawn offers particular challenges. It may be the only curved green roof in the city. Visitors will ascend the 10,500-square-foot lawn from plaza level; at its highest points, it will be 20 feet off the plaza.

Green-roof technology has advanced dramatically in recent years. Lincoln Center's lawn will be planted on top of what's now a standard 14 inch package of waterproofing, insulation, a plastic layer to stop the roots, a moisture retention mat, a drain mat, and soil.

So far, on the mini-lawn, the system has worked well. "The whole packaged system has drained much better than we thought," one of the Diller Scofidio + Renfro architects, Pablo Garcia, said. "We've come out after storms, and the ground was dry."

Green roofs have become popular in cities because they absorb storm water and reduce temperatures that can be up to 10 degrees warmer in urban areas than surrounding rural ones.

"Everybody acknowledges that it's pretty unreasonable to tear cities down and make a forest again," Edmund Snodgrass, a horticulturalist and author of "Green Roof Plants," explained." The question is how can we get more vegetation in cities, because that's what will cool things down. Sidewalks and roads aren't really options, but roofs are."

Then there's the visual appeal. "A lot of good environmental practices aren't sexy to look at," Mr. Snodgrass (whose name means "short grass" in Scottish) said. "But a green roof is one of those new environmental features that's very visible and very easy for people to integrate into their consciousness."

In addition to environmental concerns, the architects wanted to "get two spaces for the price of one" –– by having both the restaurant and a lawn on the same footprint –– Kevin Rice from Diller Scofidio + Renfro said.

Mr. Rossi said that the timing of Lincoln Center's season –– essentially, fall to spring –– meant he had to choose a type of grass that would look good even in the cold months. For a while, he considered embracing the problem and choosing a grass that would forthrightly go brown in winter."That would have been an extreme look," he said. "It wasn't the look they were going for."

© 2006 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.

October 26th, 2006, 11:55 AM
Lincoln Center is like Washington Square; it doesn't need an expensive redesign. It just needs to be cleaned and repaired.

October 26th, 2006, 03:14 PM
As of today the jersey barriers out front are gone...yeah!

November 1st, 2006, 11:07 AM
November 1, 2006
Lincoln Center Picks Husband-and-Wife Team for Harmony Atrium Redesign

The architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien at Harmony Atrium, envisioned as a place where people will buy day-of-show tickets or sip coffee and cocktails before or after Lincoln Center performances.

Listening to the husband-and-wife architects Billie Tsien and Tod Williams talk about transforming Harmony Atrium into a magnet for Lincoln Center audiences is a little like, well, eavesdropping on any married couple’s conversation.

“To me it’s like a transportation hub,” Ms. Tsien said yesterday.

“Ooh, I can’t stand that ——” Mr. Williams said.

“It’s much more about commerce, selling something ——” she said.

“We are clearly in disagreement,” he said.

“I think we’re trying to make something that feels calm,” she said.

“She digs calm,” he said. “I love calm. That’s why I’m married to her.”

If Ms. Tsien and Mr. Williams have not exactly hashed out their ideas for the atrium yet, it is because they have just been selected as the architects; Lincoln Center announced their appointment yesterday.

Ms. Tsien and Mr. Williams were chosen after a competition that began with 24 teams of architects and was narrowed to two finalists, Thom Mayne’s Morphosis being the other.

Harmony Atrium, an indoor public space that extends from Broadway to Columbus Avenue between 62nd and 63rd Streets, is envisioned as a place where people will gather to buy day-of-show tickets or sip cocktails or coffee before or after Lincoln Center performances. In recent years, it has mainly attracted athletes who use its rock-climbing wall or homeless people seeking shelter from the elements.

The space, on the ground floor of the Harmony condominiums, has been leased by Lincoln Center as part of a comprehensive overhaul intended to make its campus just to the north more inviting.

Reynold Levy, president of Lincoln Center, said in an interview that the atrium renovation was part of a larger goal: “to be open, to be transparent, to be welcoming and make access to Lincoln Center easier and more innovative.” Plans call for the atrium to be completed by the fall of 2008.

For now it is a conceptual work in progress. Mr. Williams and Ms. Tsien, who will work with the graphic designer Michael Bierut of Pentagram, were chosen not because of a design — they were asked for ideas, not plans — but because they seemed like people Lincoln Center could talk to, Mr. Levy said.

“Tod and Billie and Michael were terrific listeners,” he said. “We really loved the content of our conversation.”

That meeting of the minds is evidently in its preliminary stages. Asked about the architects’ expressed interest in closing down the atrium’s 62nd Street entrance, Mr. Levy said firmly: “They might like to do it, but it can’t be done. That’s an access to the building.”

Their notion of having members of the Lincoln Center staff roam the room helping people rather than having a central information desk or box office? “It sounds unviable to me,” Mr. Levy said. “I think a lot of work needs to be done.”

With an estimated budget of $10 million to $15 million, the project is modest compared with the architects’ previous work, which includes the American Folk Art Museum, an expansion of the Phoenix Art Museum and a recent commission to design a Hong Kong branch of the Asia Society. But Mr. Williams and Ms. Tsien said it was an important project nonetheless.

“I see it as powerful and serene,” Mr. Williams said. “It’s the kind of space,” he added, that “you’d like to drop into to feel like you’re slightly separate from the intense flow of Broadway.”

The atrium is also in the architects’ neighborhood; they work on Central Park South and live in a Carnegie Hall apartment. They even have a son who used to climb the rock wall. “It’s part of our daily fabric,” Ms. Tsien said.

Although the atrium is located across the street from Lincoln Center’s main campus, Mr. Williams and Ms. Tsien said they hoped to link the two in spirit.

“It should feel related in a positive way, but it shouldn’t feel of a piece,” Mr. Williams said. “This is a relative of Lincoln Center, and at the same time it wants to be something surprising and new.”

For now, their early ideas for the atrium include a stone platform that could serve both as a bench and as a stage for free performances by Juilliard students. They want to incorporate some of Lincoln Center’s signature materials, like bronze detailing and travertine.

Perhaps the heart of their initial proposal is a large Solari board, like the ones used for train announcements, that would provide information but also allow for video projections. “How can we deliver information in a way that’s beautiful and also flexible?” Ms. Tsien asked. “What we’re searching for is something you can connect to viscerally that is very much an experience. You’re not just sitting there. It causes you to pay attention.”

And the fate of the climbing wall? “If the climbing wall stays,” Mr. Williams said, “we go.”

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

November 1st, 2006, 11:49 PM
This space was redesigned within the last ten years.

November 2nd, 2006, 12:15 AM
And as a good viable PUBLIC space it's essentially a black hole (except for the occasional wall climber)

November 2nd, 2006, 11:44 PM
They need to clean the inside courtyard walls of the tower so more light will be reflected down into the atrium.

November 23rd, 2006, 11:43 AM
November 23, 2006
Where Even Construction Is an Opportunity for Art

A construction shed built by Lincoln Center on Broadway, between 65th and 66th Streets, set apart from its peers in space, lighting and décor.

ALONG 230 feet of Broadway, thanks to Lincoln Center and its designers, there is evidence that a sidewalk construction shed does not have to be a dark, claustrophobic, obnoxious, constricting pedestrian chute.

Sidewalk sheds, also known as sidewalk scaffolding or sidewalk bridges, seem to have taken over the city, turning long stretches of streetscape into Erector Set tunnels.

They do perform the vital service of keeping falling debris off the heads of passers-by. But all too often, they are low and poorly lighted. They block the sky. They strangle foot traffic.

And many carry advertising, which is frequently illegal but may also be too tempting a revenue source for building owners to pass up. That, in turn, could explain why some sheds seem to stay up longer than they are really needed.

In contrast, Lincoln Center has built a sidewalk shed on the west side of Broadway, between 65th and 66th Streets, that is high, wide, bright, open, navigable and actually useful.

And not by accident.

“We thought long and hard about how to make that as welcoming and as safe and as informational as possible,” said Nan Keeton, the center’s vice president for marketing and business development. The shed was designed by the 2x4 studio.

On the Lincoln Center shed, advertising takes the form of posters for “The Coast of Utopia” and “The Clean House” and performance calendars for Lincoln Center Theater, Lincoln Center Presents, the Juilliard School, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

There are large diagrammatic maps of the Lincoln Center campus on key locations along the shed, including a spot in direct view of those coming up the stairway from the 66th Street subway station. There are also renderings of the project going on behind the shed fence, including the expansion of Alice Tully Hall. The displays will be changed quarterly.

“The barricade is very organic,” said Michael Rock, the founding partner and creative director of 2x4. “It can be reshuffled all the time and not look like it’s being disturbed.”

And there is plenty of light to read the schedules and the maps. Instead of incandescent bulbs or fluorescent lights every few yards, the Lincoln Center shed has two continuous, parallel fluorescent strips. That creates a space bright enough that it feels inviting and safe but not so bright that it feels like an open-air tanning salon.

In part, that is because the shed height is a generous 14 feet.

Passers-by can often be seen stopping in their tracks to look over the calendars. In doing so, they do not typically interfere with foot traffic because the shed is 10 feet wide, allowing ample passing room.

“We did look at pedestrian flows to make sure they would be wide enough,” said C. Adair Smith, the project manager at Lincoln Center Development Project Inc., which is overseeing a series of reconstruction jobs.

Ms. Smith said the designers looked at sidewalk sheds around the city to learn lessons. One was that construction equipment and materials ought to be placed behind the shed and not on the street side, where it cuts pedestrians off visually from their surroundings.

THREE construction trailers were mounted on top of the sidewalk shed itself. In an effort to maintain aesthetics, Lincoln Center officials asked the Turner Construction Company to remove the wheels from the trailers so they would not be visible over the shed’s parapet.

Lincoln Center has also taken care to maintain the shed. There is rarely any more litter than a few cigarette butts. “It always looks nice and fresh,” said Penny Ryan, the district manager of Community Board 7 on the Upper West Side. She said the only complaints about the shed have concerned access to the subway stairway at peak hours.

Councilwoman Gale A. Brewer also said she had heard no complaints about the shed. “What they did was very tasteful,” she said.

Typically, this would be the moment to ask why every sidewalk shed cannot be such an amenity. There are some good reasons.

Lincoln Center’s shed can be as high as it is because it is not blocking anyone’s second-story windows. It can be so straight and wide because it is taking up one lane of Broadway — a newly repaved lane, at that, giving it an especially smooth walking surface. The construction staging area can be on the inside of the shed because there was a plaza there.

For an example of the more standard-issue shed, in all its dismal dimensions, you have only to turn the corner on to 66th Street, where Lincoln Center has erected a temporary scaffold during facade repairs at Juilliard.

But along 230 feet of Broadway, the lights are bright. So is the shed.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

January 19th, 2007, 11:28 AM
January 19, 2007
More Room to Pirouette at Lincoln Center Studios

Banisters in the Lincoln Kirstein Wing of the School of American Ballet resemble exercise bars.

To the untrained eye, they may just be dance studios — albeit spanking new ones — with the requisite barres, mirrors and sprung floors. But to those who have followed Lincoln Center’s ambitious, sometimes torturous, redevelopment project over the last eight years, they are a milestone: the first piece to be completed.

The four studios, unveiled yesterday, are part of the School of American Ballet’s new Lincoln Kirstein Studio Wing, named for the school’s founder. The ballet school is both a constituent of Lincoln Center and the official academy of the New York City Ballet.

The studios were designed by Elizabeth Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the leading architecture firm in the makeover of the Lincoln Center campus, which also includes upgrades of Alice Tully Hall, the Film Society, the Juilliard School and the plaza.

Reynold Levy, the president of Lincoln Center, said the opening of the dance studios underscored that the redevelopment project is “real,” as did the dismantling of the Milstein Bridge across 65th Street last summer and what Ms. Diller refers to as the “architectural striptease occurring at Juilliard.”

“What we’re seeing is the realization of a set of dreams,” Mr. Levy said.

But for Peter Martins, the ballet school’s artistic director and faculty chairman, it is the space that counts.

The wing, in the Samuel B. and David Rose Building on West 65th Street, created four studios out of two existing ones through an unusual floating and stacking design, increasing the total number of studios to seven from five.

“I asked Liz if there was a way to take wonderful studios like this and horizontally cut them in half and double the studio space,” Mr. Martins said.

“After three minutes in there, Liz said it’s possible to make a ‘floating studio.’ ”

In each studio, Ms. Diller essentially suspended a smaller studio inside a larger one. Each smaller studio is supported by three beams tied into the building’s structure.

Simply dividing the existing studios in half vertically would have left the bottom one claustrophobic and devoid of natural light, she said.

Instead, Ms. Diller and her team rerouted duct work in the old ceiling to gain eight feet in height.

The room had to accommodate “a leap with outstretched hands,” Ms. Diller said, or, as Mr. Martins observed, the end of Balanchine’s ‘Serenade,’ which involves “dancing on shoulders.”

Ms. Diller said her collaboration with ballet executives was an easy one.

“We kind of do the same thing,” she said. “We’re interested in bodies and space, and we’re interested in overcoming the laws of gravity.”

Though the concept of nesting a smaller studio in a larger one was simple, the execution was challenging, involving complicated issues like structural support, mechanical functions and acoustics. “They went with us, and they took a leap of faith,” she said of the ballet executives. “And it took a lot of faith.”

While the studios are discrete spaces, they share existing windows and a lounge in the middle of the vertical space.

The walls between the studios and the connecting lounge are made of liquid crystal glass and embedded with electrical current so that they can change from transparent to opaque with the flick of a switch. This allows teachers “to be able to control whether kids are cognizant of parents,” Ms. Diller said.

(In addition to yielding more space for classes and rehearsals, Mr. Martins said, the expansion will allow the ballet school’s children’s division to lower the minimum age to 6 from 8, starting in September.)

In something of an unusual gesture, Lincoln Kirstein’s name is emblazoned in muscular backward letters on the wall, so that it reads correctly in the mirror opposite.

“The notion of seeing it in the mirror, the spirit of Lincoln Kirstein is here,” Ms. Diller said. Given the scope of Lincoln Center’s overall project, the ballet project was small-bore. It cost a relatively modest $7.2 million — financed by a bond — and took only three months. The students used the Baryshnikov Arts Center on West 37th Street as temporary space.

But Ms. Diller said the studios were of a piece with Lincoln Center’s larger campaign to become more accessible, permeable and welcoming.

“Whatever we touch here ultimately is about connection and social aspects like teaching and learning,” she said. “Some of that is associated with light and air and the appreciation of space.”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

January 19th, 2007, 02:37 PM
The school is the money machine for the ballet.

April 30th, 2007, 01:32 PM
April 30, 2007

An Intermission for Renovation Begins at Alice Tully Hall


A rendering of Alice Tully Hall’s new facade, expected in late 2008.

Tonight, when the strains of Juilliard Orchestra violins have died away and Audra McDonald’s vibrato is a fading memory, Alice Tully Hall will bid New York a temporary adieu and go dark until late 2008.

This evening’s gala, “Good Night Alice,” signals the start of a major transformation of the stage and surrounding spaces as part of Lincoln Center’s ambitious redevelopment plan. The work is expected to take 18 months.

The Alice Tully makeover, designed by Diller Scofidio & Renfro in collaboration with FXFowle, is perhaps the largest piece of a project that many doubted would ever come to pass, partly because of the steep price. Yet today Lincoln Center officials are to announce that they have raised $482 million of its estimated $702 million share of the overall project.

“We are not declaring victory,” Frank A. Bennack Jr., Lincoln Center’s chairman, said in an interview. “We’re just saying we’re in good shape.”

In addition to a new auditorium and a three-story glass lobby for Alice Tully Hall, the improvements to the West 65th Street area include new rehearsal studios for Juilliard, a new lobby and marquee for Lincoln Center Theater, and a new theater and screening room for the Film Society. There will be public spaces like bleachers outside Alice Tully on Broadway, interactive information kiosks and a grass roof (of a new restaurant) where visitors can lounge and chat.

Improvements to the plaza area include a streamlining of the fountain and a broad new staircase entrance with a new underground roadway for car drop-offs. The goal is to make the campus more welcoming and accessible.

The Lincoln Center development project has not been without complications. Last month, Jerry Hastings resigned as the project’s executive director after less than a year in the job, saying he wanted to pursue other opportunities. On Wednesday Lincoln Center named Ron Austin, a construction management specialist, to succeed him.

And during the last year, the project’s total estimated cost has climbed to $900 million, including $650 million for the 65th Street sector, $190 million for the plaza area and $60 million in additional expenses.

(Of that $900 million, individual constituent groups — including the Juilliard School, Film Society and Lincoln Center Theater — are responsible for raising about $200 million.)

The increases bring the price closer to the $1.2 billion originally projected in 1999, a figure later disavowed by Lincoln Center officials as excessive.

The cost has risen because of the addition of new public and performance spaces and because improvements to the Juilliard School and the updating of mechanical systems proved more extensive than expected, said Katherine G. Farley, chairwoman of the development project.

Additions include a renovation of the Harmony Atrium, an indoor space that extends from Broadway to Columbus Avenue between 62nd and 63rd Streets, as a gathering spot before or after performances and a place to buy discount tickets. Lincoln Center Theater is considering a experimental stage that has also been factored into the budget.

Many elements have yet to be resolved. Changes to the New York State Theater are back on the table now that the New York City Opera has decided to stay there at the urging of its new director, Gerard Mortier, rather than look for its own home. The opera has already opened discussions with the New York City Ballet, which shares the theater, about potential adjustments, said Reynold Levy, the president of Lincoln Center.

A new stage for Avery Fisher Hall has been designed by Norman Foster, but is on hold until the 65th Street project is completed. Other unfinished designs include one for a garage on West 65th Street and another for a friendlier facade on the west side of Lincoln Center, long criticized for turning its back on Amsterdam Avenue.

Lincoln Center is promoting several naming opportunities to help pay for the redevelopment. Already christened are the Starr auditorium and the Hauser patrons lounge. A new “Please Take Your Seat” campaign offers naming options for $5,000 to $10,000 a chair.

The gala tonight, which also features Wynton Marsalis and Philip Glass, is to be broadcast on Thursday as part of PBS’s “Live From Lincoln Center” series. The event has raised more than $5 million, a record for a single Lincoln Center event, most of which will go toward the redevelopment.

In the months ahead, Alice Tully’s regular performances will unfold on other stages. The Great Performers series, the Film Society’s New York Film Festival screenings and some of Juilliard’s concerts will be moved to Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall at Columbus Circle. The Chamber Music Society will move most performances to the Society for Ethical Culture on Central Park West at 64th Street.

Given a history of infighting among Lincoln Center’s various groups, which once threatened to jeopardize fund-raising prospects for the project, the mood seems relatively upbeat. “The news is good,” Mr. Bennack said. “This city and the movers and shakers in it have more awareness of what’s going on at Lincoln Center than at any time in my 30 years here.”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

July 4th, 2007, 02:17 PM
Construction at Alice Tully Hall is moving along, with sidewalk sheds and cranes everywhere ...



Some really big beams with massive joint connectors await installation ...


A column is lowered into place ...


the connection checked ...


then the column is raised up again ...


and necessary adjustments to the footing are made ...


July 4th, 2007, 02:21 PM
^ Fixin' what ain't broke.

(Lincoln Center, not the column footing.)

July 4th, 2007, 02:23 PM
We're losing that open space at the northwest corner of 66th & Broadway.

July 4th, 2007, 02:40 PM
The unfortunate thing is that this is going to be hit with the public. It's going to be a big success.

"There will be public spaces like bleachers outside Alice Tully on Broadway, interactive information kiosks and a grass roof (of a new restaurant) where visitors can lounge and chat. Outside of the Metropolitan Opera there will be an open pit barbecue, Finnish sauna, jungle-gym and miniature golf."

July 4th, 2007, 02:41 PM
I don't think we'll lose that space (actually at the SW corner of 66th and running down to 65th). It's being re-configured ...

The steps that used to be there never worked as any sort of good gathering spot ...

Seems the new stair / seating area will be more people friendly ...


July 4th, 2007, 02:43 PM
The unfortunate thing is that this is going to be hit with the public. It's going to be a big success.

"There will be public spaces like bleachers outside Alice Tully on Broadway, interactive information kiosks and a grass roof (of a new restaurant) where visitors can lounge and chat. Outside of the Metropolitan Opera there will be an open pit barbecue, Finnish sauna, jungle-gym and miniature golf."

Why not throw in a fish market too while they are at it. :rolleyes:

July 4th, 2007, 02:58 PM
The steps that used to be there never worked as any sort of good gathering spot ...

Seems the new stair / seating area will be more people friendly ...

Now let's see, people are going to climb those stairs, sit down with their backs to Broadway, and admire the side of the building under the overhang.

July 4th, 2007, 03:00 PM
Why not throw in a fish market too while they are at it. :rolleyes:
...and ship it all to Coney Island!!

(Understand they're looking to bump the excitement level thereabouts.)

July 4th, 2007, 03:08 PM
... people are going to climb those stairs, sit down with their backs to Broadway, and admire the side of the building under the overhang.
Well, they never seemed to sit on the old stairs which faced out towards the street ...

Plus they're giving them "interactive" screens to watch -- and you know the masses are just whores for a vid experience :p

I think the real remedy would be to take back more of the streets and turn some of that into pedestrian areas around LC -- the intersections there have blacktop that goes on forever :mad: .

July 4th, 2007, 04:13 PM
Plus they're giving them "interactive" screens to watch -- and you know the masses are just whores for a vid experience :p

How do you interact with a screen if you're sitting on the steps? Do they issue you a remote?

Are you allowed to throw rocks?

July 4th, 2007, 04:52 PM
Plus they're giving them "interactive" screens to watch --

Yes but we lost those nice trees there and now A. Tully goes all the way to the street wall. Broadway can get so crowded with people and that was always a great spot to stop and collect yourself.

July 5th, 2007, 08:55 PM

October 24th, 2007, 12:24 AM
ggnyc on Flickr
August 29, 2007


June 5th, 2008, 08:20 PM
Demolition is everywhere around Lincoln Center this summer ...






June 5th, 2008, 08:24 PM
Alice Tully Hall is getting lots of glass ...







The Benniest
June 5th, 2008, 08:31 PM
Very interesting. The Lincoln Center fountain was covered up when I was there in March, but it seems to have spread quite a bit since then. :p

June 8th, 2008, 04:18 PM
I was at the Vivian Beaumont Theater last month and the whole area is a maze of plywood barriers.

June 8th, 2008, 04:35 PM
One might think that the premiere center of the arts in the USA would have come up with a more artistic way of separating the construction zones -- fulfill the zoning / building code requirements, but make it a bit more interesting for the public (who has to put up with the plywood for a couple of years).

June 8th, 2008, 05:21 PM
And then when the plywood comes down ... we'll be able to greet the outcome with the same degree of enthusiasm we're presently lavishing on 2 Columbus Circle's reincarnation.

Did Lincoln Center really need re-doing? The plaza in front of the Beaumont was lovely --New York's best Modernist townscape.

Oh, I see ... it had arrived at that age.

Diller & Scofidio = Brad Cloepfil.

June 8th, 2008, 06:02 PM
More to the point they wanted to privatize that wonderful public space. :mad:

June 8th, 2008, 06:17 PM
^ Which one?

June 8th, 2008, 06:20 PM
outside of the Beaumont.

June 8th, 2008, 07:22 PM
Were they proposing to gate it?

June 8th, 2008, 07:27 PM
I heard it's being turned into a restaurant.

June 8th, 2008, 07:32 PM
New York's insatiable appetite.

June 8th, 2008, 08:57 PM
In the NE corner of the Beaumont plaza (http://www.lincolncenter.org/asc_load_screen.asp?screen=transforming) will be an angular grass-covered hillside housing a glas-walled cafe :eek:

A new-ish member (http://www.thecityreview.com/lcenter.html) of our online community puts it this way:

Diller Scofido + Renfro Screw Up Again





June 8th, 2008, 09:20 PM
Truly ghastly. These people are as bad as Cloepfil.

Pretentious, stupid and inescapable --because so prominently sited.

The harm either of these hacks perpetrates leaves Kaufman in the dust.

June 8th, 2008, 09:24 PM
And how do these wizards think the expanse of lawn will be maintained in any way that it can be used by humans more than 50% of the time?

I envision it brown patchy + empty.

Thanks to diller scofidio + renfro.

June 8th, 2008, 10:32 PM
I've seen elevated lawns. They don't even get used. No surprise there, because it goes against logic. Why couldn't they do steps instead, if they had to do something different? Oh, I know: too much concrete.

At first I was mildly receptive to a renovation of Lincoln Center. But seeing these renderings again, I can only hope it doesn't turn out looking as bad. Even the front face of Alice Tully Hall looks like a copy of their ICA in Boston - probably one of the ugliest new museums built this decade.

June 9th, 2008, 12:58 AM
It looks like they've created about 6' of clearance between the lowest corner of the lawn and the edge of the pool. Won't work, too tight.

And they've removed all the big granite benches that used to surround the pool -- always a great place to sit and contemplate the Moore sculptures.

Now the only place to sit looks like it will be at the cafe -- but I guess that will allow folks to contemplate the menu :cool:

June 9th, 2008, 09:05 AM
Rhetorical Question. Why in the world were these buildings (and 2 Columbus Circle) not simply restored to their original condition: and, all at a fraction of the time & expense it has taken to design/construct these various works of architectural mediocrity (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=162672&postcount=115).

Well, it's too late for these buildings, but in the wake of this screw-up, perhaps this (to me obvious) 'total restoration' approach will be adopted more often on future projects here in NYC.

June 9th, 2008, 09:49 AM
^ All any of them needed was a good cleaning, but they ran afoul of the mandatory half-century hate phase in their cycle of esteem.

Everybody had to demonstrate how hip they were by despising the unfashionable style --including folks on WNY (you know who you are). The dirt helped, and so did Modernist architects, who considered these buildings' Neoclassicism to be a betrayal of Modernism's true path. 2 Columbus Circle and all of Lincoln Center are neo-classical marble boxes with references to traditional architecture. No zig-zags, no frantic diagonals, few cantilevers, no zoots. Now Lincoln Center will have all that Twenty-First Century stuff grafted right on --just as 2 Columbus Circle already has. New York will lose evidence of a whole phase in its architectural history.

Both 2 Columbus Circle and Lincoln Center will be candidates for total restoration to original condition about forty years from now, when their initial style will exist mostly in history book photos.

Happens when you think you must have everything right up to date --and when you think your personal aesthetic preferences of the moment represent eternal truth.

June 9th, 2008, 10:11 AM
What bothers me most is that clean, empty, classically orderly, public spaces are so out of style. Often they were poorly done in the 60's, but Lincoln Center got them right... the plaza in front of the LC Library was one of the nicest in all of NY.

Everything now has to be a playground.

June 9th, 2008, 10:27 AM
I think a lot of these projects begin with a discussion of building problems:

The roof leaks.
Environmental systems are outdated.
The walls are dirty.

So they have meetings to draft repair plans. Of course, there's a fund-raising effort, which becomes too enthusiastic.

Flush with money, you get, "As long as we're going to ______' we might as well ______." Before you know it, they're sitting down with architects and adding additions.

What happens is the problems of the building become associated with the design itself, and only a redesign can fix them.

June 9th, 2008, 11:19 AM
65th Street between Amsterdam / Broadway (with the big Lincoln Center platform above) was never a good plan -- it turned the entire block into a driveway / loading dock with a barren unused space above.

This re-design addresses that -- the platform has been removed and new entry ways with lots of glass at astreet level are being installed.

But it seems that the design team / Lincoln Center folks have gone way overboard.

Prime example is the bizarre and over-the-top grass-covered cafe ...

June 9th, 2008, 12:55 PM
Do you mean 66th. St?

June 9th, 2008, 05:25 PM
Nope -- West 65th (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=120+W+65th+St,+New+York,+NY+10023,+USA&sll=40.772417,-73.982449&sspn=0.007134,0.013046&ie=UTF8&ll=40.775017,-73.982706&spn=0.007134,0.013046&z=16) ...

Julliard / Alice Tully Hall on the north side and Avery Fisher Hall / Library for Performing Arts / Vivian Beaumont Theater on the south side.

Lots of construction photos HERE (http://www.lincolncenter.org/load_screen.asp?screen=AboutUs_construction_images )

This is how that North Plaza area used to look when approaching from the Met (thanks to CarterBH (http://www.thecityreview.com/atully.html)) -- although it looks like there is a big white tent set up on the upper plaza in this shot:


The Juilliard School, the low-rise building in the center, is now connected
by a broad bridge across 65th Street, that the new plan will eliminate

June 9th, 2008, 07:10 PM
Oops my bad. :o

July 19th, 2008, 01:58 AM
Vibrant Gateway Planned for Lincoln Center Campus

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/07/17/arts/lincoln.600.jpg Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects
A computer rendering of the redesigned Harmony Atrium at Lincoln Center.

By ROBIN POGREBIN (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/robin_pogrebin/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: July 17, 2008
Describing it as a “front porch” for Lincoln Center (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/l/lincoln_center_for_the_performing_arts/index.html?inline=nyt-org), the architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien have redesigned Harmony Atrium between West 62nd and 63rd Streets as a “theatrical garden” featuring 20-foot-high walls of plants and rods of falling water.

(http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/17/arts/design/17linc.html?ref=design#secondParagraph)http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/07/17/arts/lincoln.190.jpg (javascript:pop_me_up2('http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2008/07/17/arts/17lincoln2.ready.html',%20'17lincoln2_ready',%20'w idth=564,height=600,scrollbars=yes,toolbars=no,res izable=yes')) Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects
A computer rendering of the redesigned Broadway entrance to Harmony Atrium.

The goal is to transform the space, now an underused pass-through from Broadway to Columbus Avenue, into a 7,000-square-foot round-the-clock gathering place and a gateway to Lincoln Center’s performing arts campus.
People could sit and have a sandwich, attend free weekly performances or buy same-day discounted tickets, officials say. Lincoln Center hopes to complete the new $22 million atrium by the fall of 2009, in time for its 50th-anniversary celebrations.
Because the atrium, now closed, formerly had a climbing wall, the architects said they set out to incorporate the spirit of the outdoors. “We wanted to put something in that has some abstract relationship to landscape,” Ms. Tsien said. “The primary use will feel like a kind of oasis.”
There will be benches in a green moss color, suggesting islands; stone floors, echoing Lincoln Center’s dominant travertine; and water that courses through vertical tubes in a homage, Mr. Williams said, to the center’s signature fountain.
The atrium’s ceiling will have 16 intersecting openings — or “occuli,” as the architects say — that let in natural light and project artificial light. “They’re like very large celestial lanterns that will connect you to the outside and take you from one end to the other,” Mr. Williams said.
The two plant walls are to consist of ferns, bromeliads, moss and flowering vines. “You’ll really have a sense of the oxygen they give out,” he said.
A removable stage will enable Lincoln Center to use the space for social dancing and for free weekly performances, often by the center’s constituent groups, which include the Metropolitan Opera (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/m/metropolitan_opera/index.html?inline=nyt-org), the Juilliard School (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/j/juilliard_school/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and Jazz at Lincoln Center (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/j/jazz_at_lincoln_center/index.html?inline=nyt-org).
The visitors’ center will also feature a media wall, designed in collaboration with Pentagram and Show & Tell Productions, for the screening of multimedia projects, historic archival footage and performance schedules. There will be a staffed information desk, public restrooms, free Internet access and a cafe managed by Rosa Mexicano.
Across from the visitors’ center and adjacent to the New York State Theater will be a new “micro-park” designed by Diller Scofidio & Renfro in association with the firm Beyer Blinder Belle. Plans for this urban grove at 62nd Street, at the southeast portion of Lincoln Center’s campus, are to be unveiled on Thursday along with the design for Harmony Atrium.

July 19th, 2008, 11:07 AM
^ Seems like a big nothing.

July 19th, 2008, 11:23 AM
That space has been a big nothing for years.

It's one of those "bonus plaza" zoning things where the developer got to build bigger for tossing the public a supposed bone ala a "public" space. But one that nobody has ever found much good use for.

Seems that's what you get when bureaucrats look for ways to grease the wheels of development -- but the developers are really only interested in filling their pockets with little if any interest towards the public realm.

July 19th, 2008, 12:02 PM
Across from the visitors’ center and adjacent to the New York State Theater will be a new “micro-park” designed by Diller Scofidio & Renfro in association with the firm Beyer Blinder Belle. Plans for this urban grove at 62nd Street, at the southeast portion of Lincoln Center’s campus, are to be unveiled on Thursday along with the design for Harmony Atrium.

A peek of the micro-park, but seemingly without the stated "urban grove", can be seen at far left in the rendering below (with yet another sloping lawn from those suburban-yearning folks at DS+F):


Info from the Lincoln Center Harmony Atrium Press Release (http://www.lincolncenter.org/press_release/PR_VisitorCenterDesign-MicroPark_7-16-08_FINAL.pdf) [ pdf :mad: ]:

History of the Site

The site formerly known as the Harmony Atrium has long been associated with the performing arts, beginning in 1905 when the Colonial Music Hall opened at 62nd Street and Broadway. Designed in the style of a Victorian music hall, the Colonial first served as a venue for musicals and vaudeville acts, including the reigning dance team of Fred and Adele Astaire. It was at the Colonial that Charlie Chaplin was first introduced to American audiences. Renamed the New Colonial, it was converted to a Broadway theater in the 1920s, where the dance show Runnin’ Wild introduced America to the Charleston. Subsequently, the Colonial served as a movie house in the 1930s and 40s and as a television studio for both NBC and ABC from 1956 to 1971.

In the early 1970s, philanthropist Rebekah Harkness bought the Colonial and renamed it the Harkness Theater for use by her acclaimed ballet company and school. In the late 1970s, the school closed and the theater was demolished, replaced by condominiums and a public plaza. The Harmony Atrium was originally conceived as a lively gathering place for local residents as well as visitors, with city-mandated amenities that included a free one-hour musical performance each week and food service. When it is completed the visitor center will be able to once again fulfill this original vision.

POPS (Privately Owned Public Space)

The approximately 530 POPS in New York City have been created under a longstanding city program that offers zoning concessions to office and residential developers in return for publicly accessible plazas, arcades, atria, and other public spaces. Although the spaces remain privately owned, they must be open and usable by members of the public.

Lincoln Center has worked with Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space on the revitalization and transformation of the Harmony Atrium into Lincoln Center’s new visitor center.

July 19th, 2008, 12:10 PM
Some new (?) animations showing what the DS+R / LC gangs want this to look like:

Lincoln Center Promenade Animation (http://www.streamingculture.org/directory/launch/preferences?mediaid=2869)

W 65th St Project Animation (http://www.streamingculture.org/directory/launch/preferences?mediaid=2868)

July 19th, 2008, 12:56 PM
Not sure what to make of this. Lincoln Center needs a revamping, that's for sure, but about the only grass I can tolerate in a city is in a real, clearly demarcated park. Sloping lawns in front of buildings are not real parks.

July 19th, 2008, 01:28 PM
The site formerly known as the Harmony Atrium has long been associated with the performing arts,
beginning in 1905 when the Colonial Music Hall opened at 62nd Street and Broadway.

The Colonial was renamed the "New Colonial" in 1917. "Runnin' Wild (http://www.grainger.de/dbe/cds/ragcds/johnsonjp21.html)" with music by J. P. Johnson, opened there in 1923 (http://ibdb.com/production.php?id=9308) -- and introduced a new dance to audiences: The Charleston (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charleston_(dance)).

In 1924 "The Chocolate Dandies (http://www.ibdb.com/production.php?id=9559)", by Noble Sissel & Eubie Blake (http://www.redhotjazz.com/sissleandblake.html), was (for a short time) playing the New Colonial (http://ibdb.com/show.php?id=2570). It featured the Broadway debut (http://www.flickr.com/photos/22067139@N05/2167827868/) of Josephine Baker (http://www.cmgww.com/stars/baker/) who was being paid $125 / week, and thus touted as the "highest paid chorus girl in America"

A HISTORY (http://www.ibdb.com/venue.php?id=1412) of the theater on this site at 1887 Broadway.

And INFO (http://cinematreasures.org/theater/2943/) on the 1905 building from architect George Keister (http://cinematreasures.org/architect/168/) (with lots of great historical stuff from commentors).


Some more news on the long-gone Colonial Music Hall ...


Colonial Theatre to Open Its Doors on Jan. 15


Smoking to be Permitted, Except in the Orchestra / Periodical Change of Bill Planned.

NY TIMES (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9C06E0DF1E3DE633A25755C2A9649D94 6597D6CF)
December 26, 1904

When the new Colonial Theatre at Sixty-second Street, Broadway, and
Columbus Avenue opens its doors to the public on Jan. 15 the upper west
side will have close at hand what no other portion of the city now has --
a regular London music hall, run on the same lines as the Alhambra and
others that have become famous in the British capital ...

One dollar will buy the best orchestra seat in the house. The lowest price,
for a second balcony seat, will be 25 cents ...

Full Article (http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9C06E0DF1E3DE633A25755C2A9649D946597D6CF&oref=slogin) [pdf]


Despite all efforts by the Colonial's owners to present a class act it's quite possible that the Music Hall turned Vaudeville house wasn't as high-drawer as the theater manager wanted folks to believe (as reported at nyctourist.com (http://www.nyctourist.com/history2.htm) ) ...

... By 1905 the Cafe was joined by the opulent Majestic Playhouse
on Broadway and 60th Street, where Victor Herbert held forth with
orchestral concerts on Sunday nights. Vaudeville, live playhouses
and early movie theaters moved into the increasingly lively streets.

Copyright © 2007, NYCTourist.com
The Colonial Theater

Not all of these were as respectable as the Majestic, though. Audiences
at the Colonial on 62d Street (above) , for example, thrilled to a
"Concert" that included the Rossow midgets. Another featured act was
Abdul Kader And His Three Wives. The Circle Theatre, on 60th Street
followed suit with the "New City Sports," featuring six female wrestlers.
These were joined a few years later by Blarney's Lincoln Square Theater,
self-proclaimed to be "New York's Most Classy Vaudeville Theater," on
Broadway and 66th Street.


The interior of The New Colonial, circa 1928:

Circa 1928. Bill Morrison collection, courtesy of the Shubert Archive.


Optimus Prime
July 21st, 2008, 10:00 AM
That space has been a big nothing for years.

It's one of those "bonus plaza" zoning things where the developer got to build bigger for tossing the public a supposed bone ala a "public" space. But one that nobody has ever found much good use for.

Well, Harmony Atrium does have a rock climbing wall. So it's got that going for it, which is nice. ;)

July 21st, 2008, 11:03 AM
But tha climbing wall is coming down in the new design, no?

July 21st, 2008, 11:05 AM

... Because the atrium, now closed, formerly had a climbing wall, the architects said they set out to incorporate the spirit of the outdoors ...

September 3rd, 2008, 04:46 AM
Trying to Get to Lincoln Center? These Days, Practice Won’t Help

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/09/03/nyregion/lincoln-center-600.jpg Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times
Strings of lights and piped-in music from the “South Pacific” score help ticket holders find the theater amid construction.

By ROBIN POGREBIN (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/robin_pogrebin/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: September 2, 2008

Lincoln Center Theater (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/l/lincoln_center_theater/index.html?inline=nyt-org) has had no trouble attracting audiences to its acclaimed production of “South Pacific.”


The challenge has been making sure audiences can find the theater.

“I always tell people, ‘Allow 15 minutes for picking up at the box office and 15 minutes to get lost,’ ” said Bernard Gersten, the executive producer of Lincoln Center Theater.

This summer, Lincoln Center (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/l/lincoln_center_for_the_performing_arts/index.html?inline=nyt-org), the largest performing arts complex in the country, has been a maze of construction sites, plywood fencing and confusing detours. And it’s not going away soon: Until sometime in 2011, the redevelopment of the complex will be tearing up the surface of its plaza and putting down new travertine, updating the signature fountain and creating new marquees, sidewalks and staircases. (The transformation of Alice Tully Hall is expected to be complete in February.) All of which means that people may need a GPS device at curtain time.

“It’s hideous,” said Diana Colgate, making her way through the maze of eight-foot-high plywood walls surrounding the campus on her way into “South Pacific” on a recent evening. “I miss walking out in the middle. And now I don’t even know where the middle is.”

The various constituent groups on campus have had their own challenges. The Metropolitan Opera (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/m/metropolitan_opera/index.html?inline=nyt-org) relocated its opening-night simulcast, on Sept. 22, to Fordham University (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/f/fordham_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org)’s nearby campus from its usual spot on the Lincoln Center Plaza. So fans will have to detour a few blocks south to see Renée Fleming (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/f/renee_fleming/index.html?inline=nyt-per) sing from Act II of “La Traviata,” Act III of “Manon” and the final scene of “Capriccio.”

“As someone who is trying to build an audience, this is yet another hurdle that must be overcome,” said Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Met. “It’s hard for a passer-by to see there is an opera house behind all that construction.”

On the other hand, the Met managed to sell $5 million worth of tickets in walk-up sales in the first four days after they went on sale in August, a record for the opera house, Mr. Gelb said. Maybe the 48 ½-foot-high banner blaring, “Met Opera Box Office Now Open,” strung across the opera house’s center arch well above the scaffolding, helped.

Opera lovers are not the only ones who will have to get used to alternative theaters. For most screenings of the New York Film Festival (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/n/new_york_film_festival/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier), moviegoers will have to trek to the Ziegfeld Theater on West 54th Street. Philharmonic fans hoping to attend the morning dress rehearsal for the opening night concert on Sept. 17 will not be able to line up on the main plaza (as more than 3,000 people did last year). They’ll have to snake around Avery Fisher Hall on a covered path delineated by stanchions to hear Berlioz (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/hector_berlioz/index.html?inline=nyt-per)’s “Roman Carnival Overture,” Ibert’s Flute Concerto and Tchaikovsky (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/t/peter_ilyich_tchaikovsky/index.html?inline=nyt-per)’s Symphony No. 4.

Meanwhile, the Chamber Music Society (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/chamber_music_society_of_lincoln_center/index.html?inline=nyt-org) has been doubly relocated. In 2007, with Alice Tully Hall under renovation, it took up residence at the New York Society for Ethical Culture on West 64th Street. But its fall opening night performance on Sept. 25 — featuring works of Jean Françaix, Stravinsky, Shostakovich (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/dmitri_shostakovich/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and Schubert — will take place in Jazz at Lincoln Center (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/j/jazz_at_lincoln_center/index.html?inline=nyt-org)’s Rose Theater at Columbus Circle.

Lincoln Center Inc., the parent organization on campus, has a staff devoted to managing the logistics of the construction effort. Ron Austin, the executive director of Lincoln Center’s development project, said his team had made a point of trying to ensure that the construction did “not put opportunity to generate revenue at risk.” The center regularly updates the “Transforming Lincoln Center” link on its Web site (lincolncenter.org (http://lincolncenter.org/)), providing maps of the campus and alerting patrons to the latest diversions. Signs on site point the way to the center’s various components.

When Midsummer Night Swing was relocated from the plaza to Damrosch Park in July, volunteers stood on the street in bright yellow T-shirts directing people toward the dance floor. And when Lincoln Center Theater wanted to create a passageway through the construction with strings of lights and piped-in music from the “South Pacific” score to help ticket holders, redevelopment officials made it happen. It wasn’t easy. Power had to be brought in through the site, and the renovation of the adjacent North Plaza had to be broken up into two successive stages.

“It’s a very broad challenge,” Mr. Austin said. “On some level, it’s a herculean task. Lincoln Center is not a project. It’s 37 projects that are running simultaneously.”

Some patrons say the security guards stationed around the campus have come through in the clinch. Shelley Sonenberg was rushing to catch a recent performance of “South Pacific” with her parents, husband and two daughters when she realized her mother was no longer in tow. She ran back and found her, only to then literally run into a wall. “Suddenly I felt like a contestant on ‘Survivor,’ ” Ms. Sonenberg recalled in an e-mail message. “I knew what I had to do,” she added. “ ‘Help!’ I screamed, ‘Somebody, help us!’ ” A pair of security guards swiftly did, getting the group to the theater while the doors were still open.

“Should getting to the theater be this difficult?” Ms. Sonenberg wrote in her message. “Was it worth all the hysteria? Yes! This was the hottest ticket in town.” Reynold Levy (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/l/reynold_levy/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the president of Lincoln Center, said he regularly talked to the guards, to find out what they had been hearing. “The questions they are asked are cues,” Mr. Levy said. “Is our signage adequate? Should there be an extra light above a stairwell?”

The priority, Lincoln Center development officials say, is trying to maintain business as usual in highly unusual conditions. Despite having to practice violins amid pounding jackhammers, the Juilliard School (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/j/juilliard_school/index.html?inline=nyt-org) has never shut down. Nor has the School of American Ballet (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/s/school_of_american_ballet/index.html?inline=nyt-org). At the Met, where rehearsals are under way for opening night, the construction is not audible in the auditorium — and, so far, sopranos and tenors have managed to find their way to the stage door. “We haven’t lost any singers yet,” Mr. Gelb said.

Still, fresh challenges loom. The 25 to 30 people on the Lincoln Center Theater staff will probably have to relocate to a basement rehearsal room because of the danger of falling stone during the repair of the building’s exterior. “As much as we love each other, the idea of all being in one room — it’s a daunting idea,” said André Bishop, the artistic director.

And the work, which began in March 2006 and will result in arresting new marquees and new public gathering spaces, is scheduled to continue until the first half of 2011. To some, that end date feels awfully far away. “It’s filthy, it’s dirty, it’s dusty, the noise is endless, I thought, ‘How long can this go on?’ ” Mr. Gersten said. “Long.”

At the same time, he said, one has to keep things in perspective. “It’s not a war,” he said. “We’re not getting bombed.”

And somehow audiences are finding their way to “South Pacific” by curtain time. Mr. Gersten said he frequently stopped in because he loved to watch people’s reaction when the orchestra pit is revealed during Rodgers and Hammerstein’s soaring overture.

“Most everybody’s in their seats,” he said. “That always surprises me.”

Julie Bloom contributed reporting.


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

September 3rd, 2008, 09:45 AM
That ^ may be how it will look come September 17, but currently the only access to the Met Opera House Box Office / Lobby is via underground entry ways on 65th Street, 62nd Street and Columbus.

Don't even try to get there by actually walking into the above-ground part of the campus.

Definitely add 15 minutes to find where you're going.

September 3rd, 2008, 10:39 AM
The last time I was underground at Lincoln Center, much of it was blocked off, but that was three months ago.

September 3rd, 2008, 01:10 PM
What a waste. Change without improvement. Like what's happening at Washington Square.

With so much that's broke, how come we spend money to fix what ain't?

September 3rd, 2008, 05:28 PM
In both of those cases (LC & WSP) there is a lot of infrastructure work / repairs that are taking place simultaneously with the above-ground design rehab.

Iinterestingly, both places last had major infrastucture work ~ 40 years ago. And current work in both invovlves replacement of plumbing and drainage piping which was problematic at both sites.

September 3rd, 2008, 05:37 PM
^ Infrastructure ... that's like plumbing, right?

Fix the plumbing and leave the design alone.

We don't need axial fountains and erectile lawns.

September 3rd, 2008, 06:13 PM
Agreed ^

I've spoken with some of the folks on site and they claim that the infrastucture work was so invasive that absolutely everything had to be torn up in order to get the job done properly (which somehow seems to justify in the minds of the money folks / architect folks the re-doing and re-arranging of everything).

Now the big rage is for glass, so we're getting acres of it at the new LC. The expanses of green lawns are a contrasting design element -- which looks great on paper and in CGI (so we're getting yards of that, too).

The one who made the decision to "center" the WSP fountain is still a mystery.

October 23rd, 2008, 09:16 AM
The scaffolding in front of Alice Tully Hall along Broadway has come down revelaing the new structure.

Last evening on my way to a birthday dinner on the UWS I snapped these with my cell-cam ...








ath / lc

October 23rd, 2008, 11:40 AM
Very impressive deisgn, when will it be officially open?

October 23rd, 2008, 11:44 AM

October 23rd, 2008, 12:15 PM
I don't see any evidence of an above ground pedestrian overcross on 65th. St.

October 23rd, 2008, 04:46 PM
That^ has been removed. Don't think there will be a new one.

But the entire streetscape of 65th Street is being re-worked to be far more pedestrian friendly -- which somewhat obviates the need for a pedestrian bridge above the street.

October 23rd, 2008, 06:00 PM

October 29th, 2008, 01:58 PM
I thought that there was a very nice cohesiveness amongst the Lincoln Center theaters. It was this beautiful white stone arts complex that kind of stood out amidst the glass and brick facades of the city. Not too many other places like it.

Personally, I think this curtainwall works against the center and gives NYC its latest monument to "anywhere USA".


October 30th, 2008, 03:35 PM
That^ has been removed. Don't think there will be a new one.

There will be a new pedestrian bridge. It's narrower and kinda curvy.

October 30th, 2008, 09:29 PM
I've been looking at Julliard and trying to figure out where it will connect with that structure. :confused:

October 31st, 2008, 12:45 AM
The recently-cleaned & restored Swarovski chandeliers at the Met are looking gorgeous.

However the new production of John Adams' "Doctor Atomic" -- which I've been waiting for 3 years to see since it had it's World Premiere at SF Opera in '05 -- is one of the most ineptly directed pieces of stagecraft I have ever seen :mad:

Blame goes to supposed-director Peggy Woolcock http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/images/icons/icon13.gif http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/images/icons/icon13.gif http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/images/icons/icon13.gif

Kudos to baritone Gerald Finley (as Dr. Oppenheimer) and conductor Alan Gilbert (and the terrific Met orchestra).

October 31st, 2008, 01:48 AM
I recently saw the new Lucia production that premiered last year and it was beyond magnificent. During intermission, I noticed the chandeliers were looking especially beautiful and even said so to my friends. Heh, I had no idea they had been cleaned.

I am sorry to hear about the new Doctor Atomic production--I was really looking forward to it in spite of the mixed reviews.

November 1st, 2008, 08:29 PM
However the new production of John Adams' "Doctor Atomic" -- which I've been waiting for 3 years to see since it had it's World Premiere at SF Opera in '05 -- is one of the most ineptly directed pieces of stagecraft I have ever seen :mad:

You mean it's worse than "Nixon in China"? :cool:

November 2nd, 2008, 01:30 AM
They're bringing back Nixon in China next year. ;)

November 2nd, 2008, 01:31 AM
IMO the original staging of Nixon In China rates among the top ten stage productions I've ever seen.

November 3rd, 2008, 11:25 AM
^ Maybe ... but talk about the music.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of much of Adams' output ... but opera just ain't his forte.

November 11th, 2008, 07:26 PM
Construction Watch: New Lincoln Center Shapes Up

CURBED (http://curbed.com/archives/2008/11/11/construction_watch_new_lincoln_center_shapes_up.ph p#reader_comments)
November 11, 2008

A new glass facade rises above Alice Tully Hall on Broadway.

The complete re-working of the public spaces at Lincoln Center by
Diller Scofidio + Renfro (http://curbed.com/archives/2006/06/12/fountain_update_1_lincoln_center_keeps_em.php) is going full tilt, pushing ahead towards the
re-opening of a prettified Alice Tully Hall (http://curbed.com/archives/2005/11/14/alice_tully_hall_cleans_up_all_pretty.php) in February 2009. When we
reported on the construction last winter (http://curbed.com/archives/2008/02/25/lincoln_center_scraped_torn_and_reborn.php) the place was torn to shreds,
but now glass and steel are taking the place of jack-hammered concrete.
The new entry to The Julliard School on West 65th Street opened last
month, presenting another staircase / bleacher similar to the flashy one (http://curbed.com/archives/2008/10/16/curbedwire_tkts_opens_its_big_red_stairway_the_lud lows_thong_song.php)
farther downtown in Times Square, except here everything is indoors so
nasty weather will never be a problem. Across 65th Street a rising jumble
of steel in front of the Vivian Beaumont Theater will become "a destination
restaurant with public roof lawn / campus green" facing onto the reflecting
pool and Henry Moore sculpture. Cool animations showing how the new
spaces will look can be seen over at the Lincoln Center website (http://www.lincolncenter.org/). Right
now the real thing is something of a mess, but for sidewalk
superintendents it's a little bit of heaven.

Coolly reflective on the Upper West Side.

The entry to Alice Tully Hall with ballet studios suspended above.

A new covered plaza taking shape at West 65th and Broadway.

The glass entry to The Julliard School on West 65th Street.

From the inside of Julliard looking south.

Just inside Julliard.

A big beam rises above West 65th Street.

Steel lowered into place for the new "destination" restaurant.

The restaurant's roof will be a new "campus green", suitable for lunches and lounging.

They say the steel will support a lush sloping lawn.

Ironworkers putting steel into place.

Fitting a beam.

The torqued roof-top of the new restaurant above West 65th Street.

The new fountain and re-surfaced main plaza at Lincoln Center.

· Alice Tully Hall Cleans Up All Pretty (http://curbed.com/archives/2005/11/14/alice_tully_hall_cleans_up_all_pretty.php) [Curbed]
· Lincoln Center: Scraped, Torn and Reborn (http://curbed.com/archives/2008/02/25/lincoln_center_scraped_torn_and_reborn.php) [Curbed]
· Transforming Lincoln Center (http://www.lincolncenter.org/) [Lincoln Center website]


November 11th, 2008, 09:16 PM
Wow this is shaping up to be one great renovation

November 11th, 2008, 09:27 PM
Place didn't need renovation.

Another relic of the Sixties bites the dust.

November 11th, 2008, 10:33 PM
You're right, but at least they are not trying to take away from the old one in a drastic way.

November 11th, 2008, 10:37 PM
Used to work in the Tower Records that was across the street from here, and I remember when Tower closed in Dec. 2006, they had just begun the renovations. The pictures don't look so bad, but I haven't seen it in person so I can't really make any judgment on the place. But I do agree that it wasn't really in need of a renovation.

February 24th, 2009, 09:41 PM





by archidose (http://www.flickr.com/photos/archidose/) 24 Feb 2009 (more photos here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/archidose/sets/72157614316243507/))

March 5th, 2009, 08:02 PM
installation of glass on the Film Society entrance remodel should start soon.. will be an interesting techno-reflection of the Alice Tully side of the street.. lots of sharp angles, white stripes, LED's...

March 7th, 2009, 11:35 PM
Is this a waterfall in the middle of the steps?

March 8th, 2009, 01:19 AM
Steps in the middle (with a railing up the center to the top) and seating on the sides.

March 8th, 2009, 07:07 AM
Stairs to nowhere?

March 8th, 2009, 09:39 AM
No doubt with guards saying "You can't sit here." :confused:

March 8th, 2009, 10:33 AM
Steps in the middle (with a railing up the center to the top) and seating on the sides.

Thanks. They should have made a waterfall there.

March 11th, 2009, 02:49 PM
I haven't paid any attention to this project at all :o
I walked by there yesterday, for the first time in YEARS, while walking my dog.
I quickly scanned this thread but did not find an answer
to a question that popped in my head...
I see what they did to the Juilliard school- I know they are redoing all the grounds BUT,
are thy gonna redo the exteriors of the NYS theater, Met opera house, and Avery Fischer hall as well?
If so, is there a rendering (from a standing at the front of the courtyard),
looking west view of the three ?!
(The area is now a real mess)

March 11th, 2009, 08:42 PM
are thy gonna redo the exteriors of the NYS theater, Met opera house, and Avery Fischer hall as well?

No, thank goodness.

March 11th, 2009, 09:19 PM
What a waste of money!

With so many places that need fixing, they chose to mess up a place that had not much wrong with it and some areas of genuine beauty, such as the plaza in front of the Vivian Beaumont.

The other thing Lincoln Center had was stylistic consistency. No more.

March 11th, 2009, 09:39 PM
stylistic consistency. No more. :(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(

April 2nd, 2009, 06:36 PM
April 2009

James Gardner - Bringing light into a fortress at Alice Tully Hall

Renovation surpasses expectations

http://s3.amazonaws.com/trd_three/images/73417/bringing_light_into_a_fortress_articlebox.jpg (http://wirednewyork.com/assets/73417)
The entrance to the newly renovated Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center

By James Gardner

The renovation of Alice Tully Hall, the first installment in Lincoln Center's vast, multi-year makeover, is finally complete, and the results are astounding. As someone who in the past has doubted the abilities of the much-hyped firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, I am delighted to report that in this one project, it has belied my fears and surpassed my expectations.

Granted, anything would be better than what was there before: a Brutalist pile designed by Pietro Belluschi that for 40 years has housed the Juilliard School and Alice Tully Hall at 1941 Broadway.

Lincoln Center as a whole has always been more than the sum of its parts. A few of its buildings are good, like the Performing Arts Library, directly across from Juilliard on 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam. Others, like the Metropolitan Opera, Avery Fisher Hall and the State Theater, are merely mediocre when considered in isolation. But Belluschi's building was downright bad, easily the worst of the entire complex. The other architects of Lincoln Center aspired to a certain grace, a flicker of Contextualism and Classicism that seemed heretical back in Modernism's glory days in the '60s. Belluschi, by contrast, confected a truculently windowless monolith that did daily battle with the urban logic of Upper Broadway.

If truth be told, most of his building survives more or less intact. And yet it in no way diminishes the achievement of the new architects to say their changes are largely, but not entirely, cosmetic. Like much of Lincoln Center, the functionality of Belluschi's building was inseparable from the formal statement it embodied. And now that statement has been fundamentally revised. In place of the aggressive Brutalism and the bullying, fortress-like opacity of Belluschi's largely windowless building, DSR has created a wall of glass that unfurls across the entire western length of the avenue, from 65th to 66th streets. In the process, the architects have opened up the building to the outer world, as it finally admits the avenue deep into its studio spaces.

More stunning still, they have done this at a sharp slant that conforms to the shape of Upper Broadway, instead of repudiating the avenue, as the older building did. Several years back, a similar and equally beneficent transformation occurred a few blocks south at the Time Warner Building, whose concave façade now embraces the curve of Columbus Circle in a way that contrasts dramatically with the tasteless, stubborn rectilinearity of the unmourned-for Coliseum, which occupied the site before.

The overall look of the new Broadway façade is thrillingly coherent: Every part of it comes together in a lucid assertion of style, transparency and ceaseless movement. The effect is enhanced by a small, box-like space that cantilevers out from the façade over the completely reconceived plaza in front. The new openness of Alice Tully Hall is perfectly embodied in the charming Italian eatery that now occupies much of the lobby and which is reached directly from the street.

And yet, despite that coherence, the aesthetic that defines this project, and the work of DSR in general, is the Deconstructivist style. In a general way, this style is supposed to be about fracturing and incoherence, rather than about consoling regularity. Such aesthetic convictions explain the sharply angled façade of Alice Tully Hall, whose form and spirit are visually echoed in the plaza itself by a sequence of steps that lead nowhere. These steps rise up out of that submerged space and terminate in a sharp point, as though they would puncture the sky itself. Meanwhile, across the street in the plaza that DSR is designing in front of the Vivian Beaumont Theatre, a similarly angled earthwork has begun to rise, and already it forms a calculated visual rhyme with the new façade of Alice Tully Hall.

In obedience to its somewhat eccentric reading of Deconstructivism, DSR has depressed and slanted the plaza of Alice Tully Hall and accessed it by steep steps. That tactic expresses a recurring preoccupation of the firm. Strange to say, it has embraced the notion of impediment and spatial challenge as one of the terms of its art. Where architects throughout history have tried to engineer the most convenient means of access into and out of the spaces they designed, often DSR has tried to impede that access. Why it might want to do this is open to conjecture, but one imagines that it has to do with drawing attention to the architectural act, as well as expressing a "critical," even "dialectical" worldview. To date, the most emphatic statement of this preoccupation is the ramp that spills people, much to their confusion, directly into the center of the main dining room at the Brasserie, a restaurant that DSR recently remodeled at 100 East 53rd Street in the Seagram Building.

In truth, Alice Tully Hall's plaza is not so inconvenient, after all. But the same cannot be said for other aspects of the building's redesign. It is unlikely that there are many stairways in the city as steep and punishing as the one that leads up into the Juilliard School from the side of the building on 65th Street. But then, the work on this part of the building is generally less successful than on the Broadway façade.

If the latter is, formally considered, a spectacular example of the neo-Modernist idiom, the work on the 65th Street side embodies a neo-Mod, ad hoc style that is found far more frequently in DSR's portfolio. The collision of that Mod style and the dominant language of Belluschi's design is more tactless and clumsy than dissonant. DSR deserves credit for opening up and glazing 65th Street, much as it did the Broadway façade. And access both to Juilliard and the contiguous Peter Jay Sharp Theater seems far more legible as a result. But the off-white metal accents with which DSR has accomplished that transformation are drably incompatible with the noble travertine stone that defines Belluschi's building and Lincoln Center in general. And some new details, like the metal-framed windows it has cut into the sides of the building, seem merely fussy and pointless.

On balance, even with those missteps, it is probable that West 65th Street is now a far more pleasant place than it was a few years ago, especially after the merciful removal of a vast overhang that supported the Milstein Plaza and which, in the process, condemned the street beneath it to dwell in never-ending night. As regards the Broadway façade, however, there can be no doubt whatsoever that it has now become one of the most admirable stretches of Manhattan.


© 2009 The Real Deal

April 3rd, 2009, 06:52 AM
Astounding? Ive never seen the completed building but I know thats BS.

April 19th, 2009, 12:44 AM
Was up there to see "South Pacific"


(I wasn't trying to take a picture of that woman)


April 19th, 2009, 09:43 AM
The building looks very nice and inviting at night.

April 21st, 2009, 02:51 AM

samba (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ritchieyao/3376152407/in/set-72157609752909511/)

April 21st, 2009, 06:21 AM
Street sure is much improved.

April 21st, 2009, 10:24 AM
It's much better without the big cross-street plaza up top (removed at the beginning of re-construction).

FYI: The entire block of W 65th wil be re-made once the work moves farther along on the North Plaza (where the reflecting pool - now being re-constructed / re-formed - lies).

From the Transforming Lincoln Center website (http://www.lincolncenter.org/asc_load_screen.asp?screen=AboutUs_65th_Street_Fac tsheet):


W 65th St Project Animation (http://www.streamingculture.org/directory/launch/preferences?mediaid=2868)

Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s innovative and dynamic design will unite West 65th Street with the surrounding cityscape and extend the threshold of Lincoln Center, opening up the campus to encourage the interaction of artists, teachers, students, and the public.

>> Lincoln Center "Street of the Arts"

The reconfiguration of West 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue will include narrowing the street by eliminating one car lane and removing 2 curb cuts in the center of the block. The sidewalk will be expanded to 27 feet in width, transforming the south side of the street into a safer pedestrian environment for thousands of pedestrians. Safe and easy access from north and south will be provided.

Lincoln Center’s underground concourse services will be enhanced with new lighting and signage and reconfigured garage entrances and exits to improve vehicular and pedestrian traffic and provide more convenient drop-off sites for patrons. The opaque walls that flank the existing service street will be transformed into transparent surfaces that increase communication between activities inside and on the street.

>> North Plaza Public Spaces

A grand stairway at West 65th Street, widened from 32 to 55 feet and realigned at a more gradual slope, will become a major entrance to the campus. Stair risers will feature computerized LED text showing the names of Lincoln Center organizations and venues that scrolls dynamically across the steps. A new campus green will provide an oasis for students and the public to gather day and night. The lyrical design features a gently sloping public green oriented toward the reflecting pool. The open common, framed by a secure transparent glass railing, will be a tranquil green space elevated from the plaza. The lawn forms the roof of a new signature restaurant, creating a building that fuses landscape and architecture.

>> Samuel B. and David Rose Building Redesign

Access to the Rose Building entrance on West 65th between Broadway and Amsterdam will be improved with the addition of new stairs and escalators, which will create better access to its venues, dormitories, and offices. A new pedestrian footbridge will connect the north and south sides of 65th Street. Overall, a strong identity and street presence will be developed for all of the Rose Building’s resident organizations and facilities including the School of American Ballet, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Walter Reade Theater, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., as well as Lincoln Center Institute, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, the Kaplan Penthouse, and dormitories.

April 21st, 2009, 05:59 PM
I miss the pedestrian overpass, just because it was very functional.

May 11th, 2009, 11:40 AM
May 11, 2009, 10:11 am

50 Years In, Lincoln Center’s Name Is Still a Mystery

By Glenn Collins (http://wirednewyork.com/author/glenn-collins/)

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/05/11/nyregion/lincolncenter-480.jpgBob Serating
Breaking ground for Lincoln Center on May 14, 1959: President Dwight D. Eisenhower did the honors, after Leonard Bernstein conducted the New York Philharmonic in a makeshift tent.

And so, this Monday morning, let us celebrate the Great Emancipator himself, Abraham Lincoln (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/l/abraham_lincoln/index.html), who gave his name to Lincoln Center (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/l/lincoln_center_for_the_performing_arts/index.html), which commemorates the 50th anniversary of its groundbreaking with an artistic and political extravaganza in the newly renovated Alice Tully Hall starting at 10:30 a.m. (See ArtsBeat (http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/11/a-live-celebration-of-lincoln-centers-50th-anniversary/) for live coverage.)


Or, well, perhaps.

Surprisingly, after five decades, the origin of the word “Lincoln” in Lincoln Center “is a mystery,” said Judith Johnson, Lincoln Center’s corporate archivist. “It is one of those questions that should have an answer — because so many other places in New York have a reason for their naming. But that’s not true here.”

Certainly there is no doubt, she said, that it was decided, in 1956, to name Lincoln Center after the neighborhood in which it was built: Lincoln Square, formally the area between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues between West 63rd Street and West 66th Street.

After all, in 1906 the Shubert Organization opened a 1,600-seat theater there called the Lincoln Square, on what is currently the site of the Juilliard School. There was even a six-story loft, the Lincoln Square Arcade, where painters, sculptors and photographers toiled in studios for many years.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/10/11/timestopics/lincoln.jpgAP Photo/NY Public Library, Alexander Gardner
Was Lincoln Center really named after the Great Emancipator?

Records conclusively show that the New York City Board of Aldermen formally named the area Lincoln Square in May of 1906. The minutes of their meetings are devoid of discussion, however, about the reason for the name. Newspapers of the time, including The New York Times and The Brooklyn Eagle, shed no light on the question, Ms. Johnson said.

As to whether Honest Abe provided the inspiration, “we couldn’t find anything that was conclusive one way or the other,” she said.

On Manhattan’s Upper West Side, “there used to be an idea that the area was called Lincoln Farms,” said Harold Holzer, co-chairman of the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (http://www.lincolnbicentennial.gov/). “Perhaps it was a long-held urban myth that dates back to the time of a rural myth.”

But the property records in the New York Municipal Archives (http://www.nyc.gov/html/records/html/about/archives.shtml) list six local landowners in the area, and nary a Lincoln surname among them: Thomas Hall, Johannes van Bruch, Stephan de Lancey, James de Lancey, James de Lancey Jr. and John Somerindyck.

“We searched obituaries, archives of the parks department and many other records and couldn’t find any landowner with the name of Lincoln,” Ms. Johnson said.

And Mr. Holzer, who has written 34 books about Lincoln and the Civil War, confirmed that many historians have “looked in the archives and it is truly bizarre that there is no record of why it was named Lincoln Square.”

The whole Lincoln name thing gets even trickier. When the Board of Aldermen granted Lincoln Square its name in 1906, during a time that the city was designating many named squares, the city’s mayor was George B. McClellan.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/05/11/nyregion/mcclellan-190.jpgThe New York Times
George B. McClellan, son of the Civil War general, was mayor when Lincoln Square was named in 1906.

Yes, that McClellan: the son of the Civil War general and Lincoln rival who was so contemptuous of the Railsplitter that he once called him “the original gorilla.”

“There is the wonderful irony,” Mr. Holzer said of the possibility that Lincoln Square was named after the president during the tenure of a New York mayor who was “the son of the general who gave Lincoln more difficulty than anyone during the Civil War — the McClellan who opposed emancipation and ran against Lincoln in 1864.” Yet if the general had been insulting to Lincoln, the president was also uncharacteristically harsh in referring to McClellan, terming the glacially moving general’s Army of the Potomac “McClellan’s bodyguard,” Mr. Holzer said.

“One has to reasonably assume that the square was named for Abraham Lincoln,” he added, but the dearth of references to the president in the records could have been inspired by the legacy of enmity between the general and the commander. “Perhaps they played down the connection to President Lincoln in deference to the sensibilities of the McClellan family,” Mr. Holzer said.

Nota bene: any of those (and there are some) who think that the center was named after Lincoln Kirstein (http://www.nycballet.com/company/history/kirstein.html) — the balletomane and onetime director of Lincoln Center for three years who had previously been a founder of the New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet with George Balanchine — could not be more wrong.

But quite interestingly, Mr. Kirstein was “a Lincoln collector who wanted very much to have the fountain on the plaza surround a sculpture of Abraham Lincoln, which he proposed, based on a model of a sculpture he had in his own collection,” Mr. Holzer said. The idea was never realized.
In the end, all such considerations will count for little when the celebration begins in Alice Tully Hall with a performance of “Fanfare for the Common Man” by Aaron Copland (a nod to a more verifiable, non-Lincolnian tradition: that Leonard Bernstein had that theme played at the 1959 groundbreaking).

Then, Audra McDonald will sing. Itzhak Perlman and Wynton Marsalis will play. Tom Brokaw will be the anchorman — er, host. The mayor, the governor and New York’s senior senator are expected to speak. And all the while, the festivities will be streamed, live, on the Lincoln Center Web site (http://new.lincolncenter.org/live/).

But none of the revelers will resolve the obscure question of how Lincoln
Center got its name


Copyright 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

May 11th, 2009, 02:14 PM
May 11, 2009

Lincoln Center Upbeat About Face-Lift

By ROBIN POGREBIN (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/robin_pogrebin/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

When Lincoln Center (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/l/lincoln_center_for_the_performing_arts/index.html?inline=nyt-org) kicks off its 50th anniversary festivities on Monday with performances by the likes of Itzhak Perlman (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/itzhak_perlman/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and Wynton Marsalis (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/wynton_marsalis/index.html?inline=nyt-per), it will, in a way, be celebrating the future more than commemorating the past.

The event, after all, will be taking place in the newly renovated Alice Tully Hall, which reopened in February. Its auditorium has received rave architectural and acoustical reviews, and its lobby cafe, at 65, is attracting so many people that extra seating has been added.

Lincoln Center still has more than $200 million to raise in a tough economic climate to pay off the last of the redevelopment’s $1.2 billion bill. And plans are still unclear for a renovation of Avery Fisher Hall, a major undertaking that is not part of this phase of redevelopment.

But all around the campus are signs that the overhaul of Lincoln Center, the country’s largest performing arts center, is in the home stretch. On balmy days people have been hanging out on the new bleachers, opposite Alice Tully’s entrance on the corner of Broadway and West 65th Street, and on the steps leading down to the front doors, just as Lincoln Center officials had hoped.

“There’s a theme here, and the theme is how best in the 21st century to maximize the use of these precious public spaces,” Reynold Levy (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/l/reynold_levy/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the president of Lincoln Center, said in an interview. “Also for the general visitor to feel welcome, feel they’re invited and have a place to hang out.

We’re multiplying the number of places people can say, ‘Meet me at. ...’ ”

The skeleton of the green roof that will cover a new restaurant overlooking the north plaza reflecting pool, in front of Lincoln Center Theater (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/l/lincoln_center_theater/index.html?inline=nyt-org), is taking shape; it is scheduled to open in September 2010. A black-box theater designed by the architect Hugh Hardy (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/hugh_hardy/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and suitable for smaller, experimental productions — originally supposed to take up space in the center’s garage — is planned for the roof of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, though it still needs city approval. The grove of trees, with scattered seating, in front of the library is about to open to the public.

And the whole campus now has free WiFi.

Among other changes to come are the openings of the new visitor space and discount-ticket hub in the former Harmony Atrium, between 62nd and 63rd Streets, and of WNET’s glass-walled public-television studio, on Broadway and 66th Street, next to Alice Tully. By 2011 a new pedestrian bridge will span 65th Street; conceptual designs have been approved.

In the David H. Koch (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/david_h_koch/index.html?inline=nyt-per) Theater, home to New York City Ballet (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/new_york_city_ballet/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and New York City Opera (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/new_york_city_opera/index.html?inline=nyt-org), the work has been expanded to add two side aisles to the orchestra level. While the opera (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/o/opera/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) has been displaced by the construction — which includes a larger orchestra pit and new seats — the ballet is managing to perform around the renovation work. The theater officially reopens in November.

But the redevelopment is not without remaining challenges, including how to pay for it all. Having raised $940 million, Lincoln Center has $235 million more to go. The center’s constituent groups, which are sharing the cost, have $100 million left to raise.

While eliciting contributions is now more of an uphill climb than when the plans were conceived, Mr. Levy said he remained optimistic. “The economic climate has made the balance of the fund-raising slower,” he said. “People feel they need a little more time to make an initial gift or a supplemental gift. But the reception has been positive.”

“We’re going to raise every penny of this money,” he added. “We’re confident about that.”

One fund-raising effort is centered on the new Columbus Avenue staircase and promenade, which Lincoln Center is naming after Beverly Sills (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/beverly_sills/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the soprano who died in 2007. In her years on the campus Sills presided as chairwoman of Lincoln Center and of the Metropolitan Opera (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/m/metropolitan_opera/index.html?inline=nyt-org), led the New York City Opera and served on the board of Lincoln Center Theater. Donors are being encouraged to make gifts in her honor.

Another way that Lincoln Center will help pay the bills is by turning over its plazas and theaters to the Fashion Week (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/n/new_york_fashion_week/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) tents that for the last 16 years have filled Bryant Park for a week each February and September.

The fashion shows will move in September 2010, and while Mr. Levy would not disclose the value of the five-year agreement, he said it would be “very meaningful for the upkeep of the campus.”

That leaves Avery Fisher Hall. The British architect Norman Foster (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/f/norman_foster/index.html?inline=nyt-per) won the competition to redesign the inside in 2002, and the New York Philharmonic (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/new_york_philharmonic/index.html?inline=nyt-org) board approved his plans in 2005, but since then the redesign has stalled.

Lincoln Center is in discussions with the Philharmonic to frame a new constituency agreement — the current one expires in June 2011 — after which they will address a renovation, Mr. Levy said.

“Even though we’re on one 16-acre campus, the life of each of these institutions is organic, and they’re ready when they’re ready,” he added.

“I think it’s a mistake to force this. It’s such a major commitment of time and sweat equity, such a displacement and sacrifice for employees and audiences.”

Zarin Mehta (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/zarin_mehta/index.html?inline=nyt-per), president of the Philharmonic, said the orchestra would proceed when the timing is right. “The renovation of the hall, whichever form it takes, will have to take place,” he said. “This is economically not the best time to do anything.”

Mr. Levy suggested that the choice of architect and the scope of the renovation, which had been limited to the building’s interior, should be revisited in light of the campus’s new aesthetic, by Diller Scofidio & Renfro.

“I think we need a fresh look on how best to approach it in light of all that’s happened,” Mr. Levy said. “There are new board members at the Philharmonic, and we’ve learned a lot about architecture ourselves. We’ve visited a lot of halls. We’re smarter and better prepared clients. In light of that we’ll sit down together and take a look.”

Mr. Mehta does not seem to share this view. “The choice of Foster was made by a joint committee of the Philharmonic and Lincoln Center, and the discussion of anything else has not taken place,” he said. “I see no reason to change.”

May 11th, 2009, 02:37 PM


May 11th, 2009, 02:43 PM
^ As good as the re-do of Juillard may be, that inclined lawn is an abomination.

May 11th, 2009, 04:42 PM
The abomination prefers the term torqued to inclined. ;)


May 11th, 2009, 05:33 PM
^ By any name, it ruins what was Lincoln Center's best space by far --and the finest Modernist public space in New York.

May 11th, 2009, 06:00 PM
I agree with you Ablarc. It was really a lovely area, especially coming from or going to the theater. I guess the debate centers on whether it was well used space. This city has really been focused on beauty; only function.

May 12th, 2009, 12:33 PM



May 12th, 2009, 12:48 PM
:rolleyes: <Sigh!> Mundane

May 12th, 2009, 12:50 PM
Is anybody else tired and bored with all the modernist use of slants and angles now?

Are we supposed to be impressed by all the geometric shapes and angles? It's not even that interesting anymore.

May 12th, 2009, 01:31 PM
Well keep in mind that anything big being finished now was designed about 5 years ago. Good enough reason not to just design what's popular at that present moment. I find DS's work to be trendy with little substance, and I fear it'll age badly.

I feel the same way about some of the WTC towers, if they keep their current designs, they'll look dated by the time they finish.

There are only a few buildings built recently I think have that timeless quality. Most of our new buildings feel like they are a few missed window washing months away from looking like junk. The Times building for one could get as grimy as it wanted to and I'd still love it. Lincoln Center also has that quality.

June 1st, 2009, 02:23 PM
I thought it looked nice Before.

June 1st, 2009, 02:27 PM
What's the new blue glass building u/c behind this?


June 1st, 2009, 03:40 PM
^150 Amsterdam (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5381&page=8).

June 1st, 2009, 03:42 PM
Thank you. I thought that it might be 150 Amsterdam, but the top appears to taper. I thought that 150 Amsterdam did not taper at the top.

PS: What, if anything, is going on with the site on Amsterdam just north of 150?

June 1st, 2009, 03:54 PM
The Citibank branch and other commercial stuff will remain directly to the north, but on a lot just north of that will be a new Lincoln Square Synagogue (wouth of where the existing one lies); info in post 114 of the 150 Amsterdam thread.

June 1st, 2009, 04:03 PM
Thanks, Lofter.

I knew that the synagogue was planned, and as I recall, it's a very nice building. Weren't there plans for a tower here? I assume that it's on hold.

June 1st, 2009, 09:54 PM
Whats the point of those stadium seats facing the lobby? It seems really stupid.

June 2nd, 2009, 01:22 AM
When Renovation Meets Redo

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/02/arts/design/02land.html?ref=arts)
June 2, 2009

Amid the chorus of accolades that have greeted Lincoln Center’s continuing physical transformation — in particular, the new Alice Tully Hall by Diller Scofidio & Renfro — a few discordant voices are raising an alarm with worries that Lincoln Center may be changing too much.

Having lost the battle against transforming the campus’s north plaza in front of the Vivian Beaumont Theater, laid out in 1965 by the celebrated landscape architect Dan Kiley, some preservationists say they fear that the rest of the $1.2 billion redevelopment project could end up compromising the original 1960s composition of Lincoln Center as a whole.

These advocates say they are especially worried about Lincoln Center Theater’s plans to put an experimental theater on the roof of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, a building designed by Gordon Bunschaft, the architect of Lever House and other Modernist classics. They also wonder about the fate of Avery Fisher Hall, designed by Max Abramovitz, where the New York Philharmonic was originally going to limit its plans to create a new auditorium but has yet to commit to a course of action. And they say they have yet to be informed about Lincoln Center’s plans for Damrosch Park, the green space on the south side, also designed by Kiley.

“It feels like they’re just chipping away at pieces of Lincoln Center,” said Nina Rappaport, the chairwoman of Docomomo New York/Tri-State, an organization that works to protect distinctive Modernist buildings. The campus, she said, was designed as a whole, with different architects responding to a scheme.

“Now we’re seeing these bits and pieces that have been developed, and some of that is being lost,” she said. “You never know what chunks they’re going to take out next. In the end, where is the holistic plan for Lincoln Center?”

Reynold Levy, Lincoln Center’s president, said that Diller Scofidio & Renfro, the lead architectural firm on the redevelopment, has shown “enormous sensitivity to the pre-existing condition of Lincoln Center.” The project went through an extensive public approval process over the last several years, he added, with officials making a point of being open to alternative views.

But while preservation advocates acknowledge that they have had extensive discussions with Lincoln Center, they say the talks have had little impact. “They’ve been very open about presenting the plans, but the plan is the plan,” said Andrew S. Dolkart, the director of Columbia University’s historic preservation program. “I don’t think preservation is a concern at the moment.”

Many preservationists question the lack of involvement of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which has so far declined to consider a 2005 proposal for landmark status.

“The fact that it’s not a New York City designated landmark is incredible,” said Kate Wood, executive director of Landmark West!, an advocacy group. In not considering Lincoln Center, she added, the agency “has deprived the public of being able to be part of the process for securing the site for the future.”

“Every corner of Lincoln Center could be transformed,” she said. “Where is the Landmarks Commission?”

Elisabeth de Bourbon, a spokeswoman for the commission, said the agency had reviewed the proposal, known as a request for evaluation, which was filed by Docomomo. And although the agency has not made Lincoln Center a landmark, Ms. de Bourbon said it had provided input on the expansion, “to help ensure that the work is appropriate to the spirit of the complex.”

Some advocates suggest that the commission has not held a hearing on landmark status because the redevelopment is the second-largest construction project in the city (after ground zero) and has the strong support of the mayor. “Landmarks has been very careful not to get involved,” Mr. Dolkart said.

Ms. de Bourbon said, "Political pressure played no role in the commission’s decision not to pursue the designation of Lincoln Center as a landmark."

In 2000 the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation determined that Lincoln Center was eligible for listing on the state and national registers of historic places — nonbinding classifications that might have buttressed the cause of preservation — but Lincoln Center declined that consideration, the state office said. (Betsy Vorce, a spokeswoman for Lincoln Center, said that Mr. Levy could not recall “ever having personally addressed it with the state preservation office.”)

In the initial stages of the redevelopment, preservationists made a concerted effort to try to save the north plaza, an example of midcentury Modern landscape design long admired for its elegant proportions. A restaurant that will take up some of the plaza’s space is currently under construction, incorporating a sloping green roof that will overlook the reflecting pool, whose dimensions have been altered.

“The restaurant is clearly a huge interruption of that composition that ultimately is going to compromise that setting,” said Gregory G. Dietrich, a preservation consultant who was a co-author of the Lincoln Center National Register nomination. “I am not by any means against the concept of redevelopment at Lincoln Center, but when you’re talking about a landscape design by a pre-eminent landscape designer, more care should be taken.”

Plans for a new black-box auditorium above the library have yet to be announced publicly; Hugh Hardy is the architect on the project. But preservation advocates who have seen early designs said an external elevator was planned for the building’s south side, which would markedly change the glass facade. Mr. Dolkart said the theater on top would be a “big visible box on the roof of the building, which has the sense of floating now.”

Ken Smith, a prominent landscape architect, said Lincoln Center’s rationale for its changes to the north plaza was “that by completely redesigning it, they were restoring it.”

“If they apply the same standard to Damrosch Park,” he said, “it would not be very good.”

Mr. Levy said plans for Damrosch Park, which haven’t been formally announced, are limited to upgrading the band shell and repairing aging tree planters.

But Mr. Smith said that based on what had happened with the north plaza, he is still skeptical.

“We had lots of meetings where they said good words about respect for Kiley,” he said, “but at the end of the day it was a complete redesign.”

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

June 8th, 2009, 10:23 PM





Nice space:


July 1st, 2009, 08:28 AM
By Ada Louis Huxtable
New York

This is a big year for golden anniversaries. Lincoln Center is marking its first half-century with a year-long celebration and an ambitious rebuilding program, and the Guggenheim Museum is honoring its 50th with a huge show that pays homage to its famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, who died in 1959, the same year the building was completed. Miles Davis recorded "Kind of Blue" that year, and in case you hadn't noticed that 50 years have passed, consider the fact that the Harvard Business School now uses that jazz classic as a case history of how innovation is generated and why such acts of genius have a competitive advantage.

None of this is as disconnected as it seems. The '50s and '60s were an extraordinarily creative and optimistic time in all of the arts. Performing arts centers multiplied across the country, and what they lacked in content was made up in ambitious plans. The museum building boom that started then has never stopped, reaching a crescendo of high architectural drama 50 years later. No one dreamed that 50 years would make much of this construction obsolete.

With buildings, obsolescence is inevitable. Materials deteriorate and fail, technology becomes outdated, wear and tear and deferred maintenance take their toll. Uses change, requiring major revisions that deform the original design and intent. The downhill process starts the day of completion and seems to reach its peak when the portentous anniversary looms.

And more than construction becomes obsolete. Time also reveals how transient and vulnerable both ideas and their monuments are, and how deeply and insidiously styles of thought and building can shape the way we experience art and life.

Lincoln Center is the product of a lot of obsolete ideas. Its considerable success and staying power is not due to some brilliant, time-proof formula. This was a moment when the destructive misjudgments of urban renewal, the antiurbanism of a car-centric culture and a deadening kind of modernist monumentality came together in a disastrous environmental triple play. But half a century has given Lincoln Center legitimacy; it is an essential, accepted and even admired part of New York. On a summer evening, with swing dancing in the plaza, or on a gala night with all the buildings alive, it is, to borrow Robert Venturi's famous quote about Main Street America, almost all right.

Like many performing arts centers of the time, this one began as an urban renewal site. It was one of Robert Moses's later New York undertakings, when he had moved from great perimeter parks and beaches and the roads that reached them to the kind of inner-city expressways and slum-clearance projects that ripped out the hearts of cities in the 1950s and '60s. Cultural centers were supposed to heal the wound.

By design, Lincoln Center was isolated from its surroundings. In accordance with one of the more faulty modernist practices of the day, it was built on a platform, or "podium" (a favorite buzz word), separating it from the city streets and dedicating it to access by car. Pedestrians have always had to dodge two barrier lanes of traffic to reach the entrance plaza. Architecturally, it is the product of a consortium, a mashup of moderate talents working at cross-purposes in an impossibly competitive and conflicted situation to house a dozen of the city's very different cultural and educational institutions.

There are no great buildings. It is fashionable today to characterize Lincoln Center's ersatz-classical/pseudomodernist aesthetic as a precursor of postmodernism, but that gives misplaced credit to those who had no such thing in mind. Rather than moving architecture into new territory, they were retreating into a bowdlerized soft modernism to please conservative constituents who were looking for something acceptably up to date but not too disturbingly avant garde, while secretly lusting after colonnades. In the 1960s, modernists were wedded to the in-your-face raw concrete monumentality of Brutalism, arguably one of the less people-friendly and more offputting styles of all time. That was simply never going to make it in this company. The buildings miss true monumentality by a mile.

Only the Vivian Beaumont Theater, the Performing Arts Library and the Juilliard School escaped the vapid mold to varying degrees, but everything was wrapped in matching travertine to disguise any disrupting individuality. It takes a lot of magical thinking to believe that this architecture was not moribund from the start. With the years, however, the place has acquired a comfortably familiar, passive congeniality, focused on the one completely successful element of the complex, the main plaza. But like it or not, Lincoln Center is a landmark, and you don't mess with landmarks in this town.

And so what began as a practical upgrade and retrofitting of the structural plant has become an architectural balancing act that tells us as much about philosophical change as physical need. The remedial work is based on concepts that contradict and reverse most of the original assumptions about a cultural center as something elevated and elite. But the firm carrying out the revisions, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in association with Fox and Fowle, does not consider the job a way to override what is there. "We don't see anything as tabula rasa," says Elizabeth Diller, one of the firm's founding partners, and it helps that they feel a real warmth for the buildings and their place in architectural time.

The bunker mentality of the podium design is being broken down by "chipping away at the edges," in Ms. Diller's words, opening up the buildings and spaces to meet the streets they have ignored for so long, reuniting Lincoln Center with the city and making everything more accessible for public use. The car lanes that cut off the complex's entrance have been depressed below grade and the new main entry will be a broad ceremonial stair leading directly from Amsterdam Avenue into the main plaza, where the central fountain will be handsomely upgraded.

In one of the first acts of reclamation, the huge, hulking concrete bridge that turned 65th Street into a forbidding dark tunnel has been demolished; it will be replaced by a slender glass pedestrian crossing. Stairs that echo those at the main entrance will give the north plaza access from street level at 65th street for the first time. That plaza's chronically underused space is now the site of the rehab's most striking element -- a restaurant pavilion in the shape of a hyperbolic parabola, like a tilted potato chip, with a usable, sloping green roof for the adventurous. As a stand-alone addition, this intervention frees the architects from Lincoln Center's retardataire style. The tentatively monumental is being joined by the convincingly contemporary. What was exclusive, forbidding and opaque will become inclusive, inviting and open.

The renovation of Alice Tully Hall, now complete, is already considered a smashing success. A solid, closed rectangle that was built in rigid denial of the angled Broadway street pattern has been boldly opened at the front and pushed forward with a thrusting glass prow to realign it with the street and invite people into a clearly visible, spacious new lobby and café. This is subtle but radical surgery, done with a 21st-century spin.

Like so many of today's architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro is less interested in solidity than in transparency; its buildings tend to rise sharply or project precariously rather than to appear to be rooted solidly in the ground. Conventional plans give way to a kind of interactive design configured for use, flow and exchange among people and places, reflecting the ideas and energy of a generation that has thrown off all 20th-century rules for expressive explorations of form, space and material. These are the architects of the Blur Building, an exposition pavilion in a Swiss lake that was made entirely of mist to celebrate water, an architecture of poetic evanescence that would have been unthinkable to an earlier generation determined to bring serious modernist principles of design to a reluctant world that never really wanted them.

Lincoln Center outlived those principles and the tastes and the beliefs that supported them. Styles change. Ideas move on. Nothing escapes fashions in art and life. And we will surely be playing catchup again in another 50 years.

Ms. Huxtable is the Journal's architecture critic.

Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page D7

July 1st, 2009, 09:30 AM
For starters she confused Amsterdam and Columbus avenues - :rolleyes:

July 1st, 2009, 10:35 AM
Many preservationists question the lack of involvement of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which has so far declined to consider a 2005 proposal for landmark status.

“The fact that it’s not a New York City designated landmark is incredible,” said Kate Wood, executive director of Landmark West!, an advocacy group. In not considering Lincoln Center, she added, the agency “has deprived the public of being able to be part of the process for securing the site for the future.”

“Every corner of Lincoln Center could be transformed,” she said. “Where is the Landmarks Commission?”
In a nutshell. ^

July 1st, 2009, 10:40 AM
Her review is generally confused.


July 1st, 2009, 11:04 AM
Confused, contradictory ... and where is the old fabulous elitism?

July 1st, 2009, 12:34 PM
That's the 4th bad review of Lincoln Center I've read this week.

July 1st, 2009, 12:55 PM
The days are over when it's an insult to be accused of "secretly lusting after colonnades." It's this kind of detachment that elevates the undeserving stature of Diller & Scofiddio from paper architects and theoreticians into the 'vanguard' thus enabling their disfiguring hackery.

I wonder if Huxtable (who passed (http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/theskyline/2009/06/another-mixed-review-on-the-modern-wing-.html) on writing a review) thinks Renzo Piano's Modern Wing (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?p=284297#post284297) is in need of some "chipping away at the edges" or dismisses its "ersatz-classical/pseudomodernist aesthetic " or considers it "bowdlerized soft modernism"?

"Styles change. Ideas move on."

July 4th, 2009, 03:20 AM
When it all started...

Lincoln Center

July 1st 2009

There goes the neighborhood, April 1963

President Eisenhower breaks ground for Lincoln Center for Performing Arts.

Back in the days of yore, the area had been called Bloomingdale, pastorally beflowered summer residence of your better Dutch mynheers and English squires. By 1900 the place was a desperate and dangerous slum known as San Juan Hill, and half a century later the city's bleak West 60s were nothing but block after block of oil-soaked garages and fly-specked bars and crumbling welfare ratholes.

Along came Robert Moses, among his many other positions chairman of the Slum Clearance Committee, to knock everything down and put up Lincoln Square, new home of the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic and grand parks for them to nestle in. The original $205 million redevelopment plan, covering 18 square blocks, soon got scaled back. Even so, Moses had to forcibly dislodge 6,000 families and 700 shopkeepers. He was good at this, and taxpayer suits went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court without success; by the summer of 1958, there stood nothing in the way of progress.

In September 1962, the still only semi-finished 2,646-seat Philharmonic Hall became the first component of what was now called Lincoln Center to open for business, with a nationally televised concert under Leonard Bernstein's baton, as work crews continued to hammer away at the opera house nearby. Not all the strip's old-timers much loved New York’s bright and shining cultural future.

"What are old people going to do with opera?" grumbled one elderly widow who had been heaved out of her $36-a-month flat.


September 4th, 2009, 06:20 AM
September 3, 2009
Because of Construction, No Christmas Tree at Lincoln Center

By Jennifer 8. Lee


Lincoln Center is canceling its Christmas tree this holiday season
because the plaza, which is under construction,
will not be able to support the crowds, a spokeswoman said.

Due to construction, Lincoln Center will not have a Christmas tree this holiday season, suspending one of the city’s major Christmas lighting ceremonies.

Lincoln Center is scheduled to be under construction until 2011. The redevelopment of the complex involves tearing up and replacing the surface of its Josie Robertson Plaza, where the tree — typically one of the largest holiday evergreens in the city — has been lighted in years past on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

“It will be completed by next year, but it is in no shape to hold the group that the tree attracts,” said Kate Merlino, a spokeswoman for Lincoln Center. In past years, she said, the lighting ceremony has drawn as many as 10,000 people. “Usually it is so many people that we want to make sure it is able to handle a crowd.”

Lincoln Center has maintained a Web site detailing all the detours and closings (http://www.lincolncenter.org/load_screen.asp?screen=constructionnews).

The lighting ceremony is expected to resume for the 2010 season, Ms. Merlino said.


September 6th, 2009, 08:54 AM

kvnbklyn (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=173240)

September 6th, 2009, 08:58 AM
Too Jetsons, in a bad way.

September 6th, 2009, 11:32 AM
W 65th Street sidewalks are now being widened for the new entry points up into the North Plaza.

Better looking street lights would help along this stretch.

October 2nd, 2009, 11:40 PM
Lincoln Center Fountain Returns with Water Show






As part of Lincoln Center's extensive and expensive renovation (http://gothamist.com/2009/02/20/alice_tully_hall_renovations_raptur.php), the beloved Revson fountain has been reimagined as well. Instead of the old, low-walled fountain (designed by Philip Johnson), architects Diller, Scofido + Renfro created a "floating granite ring"—which acts as seating, if you don't mind getting a little wet—around the water. From the press release:
The pool of water is lowered and converted to a shallow water surface at Plaza level. New technologies provide automated windspray sensors that adjust water pressure, height, and volume. Special nozzles and lighting systems allow for a multitude of special-effect water and light configurations. In terms of choreography, the fountain can create a wide range of water expressions from slow morphing geometric masses to fast paced chases. At night, the fountain is vibrantly illuminated with white light.The fountain's effects were designed by WET (http://www.wetdesign.com/), the design firm behind the fountain at Columbus Circe and the famous fountain at Las Vegas' Bellagio Hotel. Here's a brief clip of the illuminated fountain at night (after the jump, there's video of the fountain during the day):


Of course the change from the old fountain has upset some: In August, Andrew Dolkart of Columbia's historic preservation program told the NY Times (http://gothamist.com/2009/08/26/lincoln_center_3.php), "It’s the thing that upsets me most of all about what’s happened at Lincoln Center. They thought that they needed to spend a lot of money ripping out Philip Johnson’s fountain and putting in something new instead of restoring something that worked well...."

Dolkart then added, " A key issue in preservation is whether or not something is worth preserving, not whether or not the new thing we replace it with might be wonderful also. You wouldn’t want to tear down Grand Central Terminal because Frank Gehry is going to design a masterpiece in its place." But Lincoln Center's director of development Ron Austin told NY1, "What we've done is complementary to Philip Johnson's original design, is one of the premier fountains in the country. We brought in 50 years of new fountain technology to the campus."

(see article for the other video)

http://gothamist.com/2009/10/02/lincoln_center_fountain_returns_wit.php?gallery0Pi c=5#gallery

October 3rd, 2009, 02:48 AM
It's actually better than the old fountain. Who knew?

October 3rd, 2009, 12:24 PM
That second video on the Gothamist page goesthrough a complete sequence. This is fantastic. I hope to see it lit at night for one of these performaces. It is worthy of Liberace.

October 3rd, 2009, 01:45 PM
That fountain's got SWAGGER! However, I can't help wondering how hard it'll be to hold a conversation anywhere near it -- seems like a real scene stealer.

October 3rd, 2009, 03:02 PM
I was next to it earlier this week. It's not loud at all. The jets were going up about three feet.

October 11th, 2009, 04:16 PM
^ When I made that comment, I was referring more to the visual spectacle than the noise, but having now been there I can say it wasn't much of an issue. Still, it's very, very cool!

Looks like a big truck frame








November 10th, 2009, 04:42 AM
Dirty Jobs: Lincoln Center Renovation Gets Sodded

November 9, 2009, by Pete






http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3220/4079830557_8d465e9003_s.jpg (http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3220/4079830557_c731a85cb6_o.jpg) http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2634/4080590820_385336ede8_s.jpg (http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2634/4080590820_b79bdc906f_o.jpg) http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2792/4079831077_84694ebe7b_s.jpg (http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2792/4079831077_24cc796ff6_o.jpg) http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2548/4079830645_d8d99783c5_s.jpg (http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2548/4079830645_a030fff29e_o.jpg) http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2698/4079831207_d58272474e_s.jpg (http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2698/4079831207_d84285b45b_o.jpg) http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2611/4080590980_cf1703c16c_s.jpg (http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2611/4080590980_45eb4a8bbc_o.jpg) http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2778/4079830901_f4c9809d14_s.jpg (http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2778/4079830901_d5aae250ca_o.jpg) http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2632/4079830517_ac9ddc6555_s.jpg (http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2632/4079830517_8c42bcf6fd_o.jpg) http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2515/4080590576_ee7448d70f_s.jpg (http://cdn3.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2515/4080590576_2380f9ff82_o.jpg)
(click thumbnails to enlarge)

Early autumn is the perfect time for planting cool-season grasses, which explains all the activity around the North Plaza at Lincoln Center. Before the chill of winter descends, shovel-toting crews are busy spreading dirt atop the sloping roof of the new Hypar Restaurant that rises alongside the rebuilt reflecting pool. Designed as a verdant oasis over West 65th Street by the high falutin' team of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (http://curbed.com/tags/diller-scofidio-renfro), this future slope of sod has had some broad steps added at the west end outside the Vivian Beaumont Theater, mimicking DS+R's new Stairway to Nowhere at Alice Tully Hall. Down on West 65th Street the sidewalks are being widened and new high-tech signage is going in, transforming what was formerly a stretch of pedestrian hell into an avenue of interactive heaven. A glass and steel bridge spanning 65th is still to come. Meanwhile, spread that seed! Lincoln Center's future depends on it.

Transforming Lincoln Center (http://www.lincolncenter.org/load_screen.asp?screen=Transforming) [lincolncenter.org]
Lincoln Center Public Spaces and Infoscape (http://www.dsrny.com/) [Diller Scofidio + Renfro]
Lincoln Center coverage (http://curbed.com/tags/lincoln-center) [Curbed]

http://curbed.com/archives/2009/11/09/dirty_jobs_lincoln_center_renovation_gets_sodded.p hp?o=1

November 10th, 2009, 02:27 PM
The new fountain is amazing. What a show! I watched the whole 4:51 video and it kept me interested the whole way through the sequence.

I have to go see it in person!

November 10th, 2009, 07:11 PM
^ Definitely do, I loved it just as much in person as I did watching that vid.

November 11th, 2009, 07:14 PM
Still installing the sod.