Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City

Saturday, 7 January 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, New York City, Opera Houses, Theaters, Libraries
Reading Time:  10 minutes

David H. Koch Theater (left), Metropolitan Opera House (front), and David Geffen Hall (right) © flickr.com - Ajay Suresh/cc-by-2.0

David H. Koch Theater (left), Metropolitan Opera House (front), and David Geffen Hall (right)
© flickr.com – Ajay Suresh/cc-by-2.0

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (also simply known as Lincoln Center) is a 16.3-acre (6.6-hectare) complex of buildings in the Lincoln Square neighborhood on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It has thirty indoor and outdoor facilities and is host to 5 million visitors annually. It houses internationally renowned performing arts organizations including the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, and the Juilliard School. A consortium of civic leaders and others, led by and under the initiative of philanthropist John D. Rockefeller III, built Lincoln Center as part of the “Lincoln Square Renewal Project” during Robert Moses‘s program of New York’s urban renewal in the 1950s and 1960s. Respected architects were contracted to design the major buildings on the site.

Rockefeller was appointed as the Lincoln Center’s inaugural president in 1956, and once he resigned, became its chairman in 1961. He is credited with raising more than half of the $184.5 million in private funds needed to build the complex, including drawing from his own funds; the Rockefeller Brothers Fund also contributed to the project. Numerous architects were hired to build different parts of the center. The center’s first three buildings, David Geffen Hall (formerly Avery Fisher Hall, originally named Philharmonic Hall), David H. Koch Theater (formerly the New York State Theater), and the Metropolitan Opera House were opened in 1962, 1964, and 1966, respectively.

It is unclear whether the center was named as a tribute to U.S. President Abraham Lincoln or for its location in the Lincoln Square Neighborhood. The name was bestowed on the area in 1906 by the New York City Board of Aldermen, but records give no reason for choosing that name. There has long been speculation that the name came from a local landowner, because the square was previously named Lincoln Square. However, property records from the New York Municipal Archives from that time have no record of a Lincoln surname; they only list the names Johannes van Bruch, Thomas Hall, Stephen De Lancey, James De Lancey, James De Lancey Jr. and John Somerindyck. One speculation is that references to President Lincoln were omitted from the records because the mayor in 1906 was George B. McClellan Jr., son of General George B. McClellan, who was general-in-chief of the Union Army early in the American Civil War and a bitter rival of Lincoln’s.

David Geffen Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic © flickr.com - Jun Seita/cc-by-2.0 David H. Koch Theater (left), Metropolitan Opera House (front), and David Geffen Hall (right) © flickr.com - Ajay Suresh/cc-by-2.0 David H. Koch Theater © flickr.com - Ajay Suresh/cc-by-2.0 David H. Koch Theater, home of the New York City Ballet © D Ramey Logan/cc-by-4.0 Metropolitan Opera House © flickr.com - Ajay Suresh/cc-by-2.0 Metropolitan Opera House © Grenoble17/cc-by-sa-4.0 David Geffen Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic © flickr.com - Ajay Suresh/cc-by-2.0
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David H. Koch Theater (left), Metropolitan Opera House (front), and David Geffen Hall (right) © flickr.com - Ajay Suresh/cc-by-2.0
The center serves as home for eleven resident arts organizations:

When first announced in 1999, Lincoln Center’s campus-wide redevelopment was to cost $1.5 billion over 10 years and radically transform the campus. The center management held an architectural competition, won by the British architect Norman Foster in 2005, but did not approve a full scale redesign until 2012, in part because of the need to raise $300 million in construction costs and the New York Philharmonic’s fear that it might lose audiences and revenue while it was displaced. Among the architects that have been involved were Frank Gehry; Cooper, Robertson & Partners; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Beyer Blinder Belle; Fox & Fowle; Olin Partnership; and Diller & Scofidio. In March 2006, the center launched the 65th Street Project – part of a major redevelopment plan continuing through the fall of 2012 – to create a new pedestrian promenade designed to improve accessibility and the aesthetics of that area of the campus. Additionally, Alice Tully Hall was modernized and reopened to critical and popular acclaim in 2009 and Film at Lincoln Center expanded with the new Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. Topped by a sloping lawn roof, the film center is part of a new pavilion that also houses a destination restaurant named Lincoln, as well as offices. Subsequent projects were added which addressed improvements to the main plazas and Columbus Avenue Grand Stairs. Under the direction of the Lincoln Center Development Project, Diller Scofidio + Renfro in association with FXFOWLE Architects and Beyer Blinder Belle Architects provided the design services. Additionally, Turner Construction Company and RCDolner, LLC were the construction managers for the projects. Another component to redevelopment was the addition of the David Rubenstein Atrium designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, a visitors’ center and a gateway to the center that offers free performances, day-of-discount tickets, food, and free Wi-Fi.

Read more on Lincoln Center, nycgo.com – Lincoln Center and Wikipedia Lincoln Center (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Johns Hopkins University & Medicine - Coronavirus Resource Center - Global Passport Power Rank - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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