Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall Will Get $550M Facelift, Expanding Capacity

David Geffen Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic, is due to get a $550 million facelift, Lincoln Center officials announced Monday.

While the site is primarily known for classical music performances, it was used for Disney’s annual TV upfront presentation in May and earlier this fall hosted Apple’s splashy premiere for The Morning Show. According to Lincoln Center, the makeover will enhance the venue’s capabilities in terms of film and TV events.

The renovation ($360 million of whose cost has already been raised) will “transform the concert hall and all public spaces,” a press release said. The changes will end up “enhancing the concertgoing experience, fostering a sense of community, and creating bold and innovative ways to connect with the world outside.” The new Geffen Hall is scheduled to open by 2024 after months-long closures in 2022 and 2023.

The project will double the size of the main lobby and open up on three sides to connect with the Lincoln Center campus, which occupies 16 acres on New York’s Upper West Side. About a decade ago, the 63-year-old arts destination underwent a dramatic transformation, which added elements such as a new commercial film venue, the three-screen Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center. Those sweeping improvements left Geffen Hall as it was. Concertgoers, critics and musicians alike have long griped about the acoustics inside the hall as well as the dated appearance of the 1962 structure.

At the core of the new Geffen Hall lobby will be a media streaming wall, which can show concerts and events in real time as well as other digital formats. The reconfigured Grand Promenade will become one of the largest spaces for entertaining at a performance facility in New York, able to host more than 1,000 people at a time.

The Sidewalk Studio, visible from the street on the corner of 65th Street and Broadway, which will be a home for educational, artistic, and community activities.

“As a veteran of two major concert hall projects, I can say that the clear goals, the rigorous planning, and the actual design for the new David Geffen Hall give me confidence that this will be a singular success,” said Deborah Borda, President and CEO of the New York Philharmonic. “The partnership we have formed with Lincoln Center is very real and very critical to all that is occurring. At long last, David Geffen Hall will be a superb and connected musical venue.”

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