Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Just Tear It Down, Already!

David Geffen Hall (Monica Simoes photo)

Well, it seems we will not be getting the makeover of Phi...er, Avery....ER David Geffen Hall that we've been waiting (and waiting and waiting and waiting) for. Lincoln Center announced today that the major planned renovation is being canceled.

In the last few months, both Lincoln Center and the NY Philharmonic had personnel changes at the top, very much for the better. Deborah Borda came back to the Phil as its president, after 17 years at the LA Philharmonic. Deborah L. Spar joined Lincoln Center from Barnard College. Both had experience deeply relevant to any NYC construction project -- and they quickly discovered that the renovation project could not guarantee that the orchestra would be out of its home for only two years.

These two officials know what they are talking about if they say this is too risky for all involved. Unfortunately, despite my flip headline, they can't just tear it down and start over. That would surely take more than two years.

So we'll get more patching and interior renovation of the hall, not the major makeover everyone had been hoping for. Le sigh, but what can you do.

Michael Cooper has the scoop in full.


Unknown said...

The New York Philharmonic has a unique problem when it comes to remodeling or replacing David Geffen Hall. When the Los Angeles Philharmonic built Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LAPO wasn’t being displaced — it remained in its then-home, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, until the almost 20-year project that would be its new home would be complete. The NYPO doesn’t have that luxury; it’s going to have to find what will probably be a group of new homes for the interregnum and that’s a bigger problem than raising the money to build a new hall.

Actually, I think a major remodel on the current hall makes a lot of sense. The current hall is built in a “shoebox” design, which is similar to many classic halls. Moving the stage, adjusting the acoustics, and shrinking the number of seats will do wonders for the overall experience of audience and musicians, alike.

Lisa Hirsch said...

All very true and practical!

My headline is a nod to George Szell's remark following the opening that they should tear it down and start over.