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Thread: Lincoln Center Redesign - by Diller + Scofidio / FX Fowle / Cooper Robertson

  1. #46
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Manhattan - UWS


    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!!!

  2. #47
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    Renovations generally take more time than constructing a new building. You need to work with and around the existing structure.

  3. #48


    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

  4. #49


    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

  5. #50


    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

  6. #51
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2003
    The Catskills


    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

  7. #52


    I happen to have a newspaper clipping oddly enough, in my baby scrap book from Dec 2, 1959 with a rendering inside and outside of the "New Philharmonic Hall" for which the groundbreaking had just started and there was a large muddy hole.
    Max Abromovitz it said was the architect.

    I scanned both pieces of the article, the paper is of course 45 years old and discolored but it's readable and the rendering of the facade at least is viewable too;

  8. #53


    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

  9. #54
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Manhattan - UWS


    "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.

  10. #55
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Garden City, LI


    Um, Lincoln Center can get the ax, just fine...

  11. #56
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Alice Tully, Could That Really Be You?

    New York Times
    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

  12. #57

  13. #58

  14. #59


    grotesque is what is there now.

  15. #60


    Quote Originally Posted by alejo
    grotesque is what is there now.
    Do you mean the Belluschi/Catalano building or the whole complex?

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