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PR- 196-06
June 12, 2006


Celebration Highlights the Beginning of Construction on the First Stage of Lincoln Center Redevelopment and other Significant Milestones

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, joined by Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin, President of Lincoln Center Reynold Levy and Chairman of Lincoln Center's Board of Trustees Frank A. Bennack, Jr., today hosted a groundbreaking celebration to mark the beginning of a major renovation of West 65th Street, the first stage in the redevelopment of the Lincoln Center campus. The project, by the innovative architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FX Fowle, is designed to make Lincoln Center more accessible and open, creating a dynamic "Street of the Arts" spanning West 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. Mayor Bloomberg was also joined by chair emerita of the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Beverly Sills, Chairman of Lincoln Center Development Project Katherine Farley and architect Liz Diller, along with other public officials, community board leaders, neighbors, Trustees, and friends.

"Lincoln Center's redevelopment project is truly a model of collaboration - a symphony of thoughtful planning, artistic excellence, and innovative design by world-class architects," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "The plan recognizes that creating great public spaces is not only about iconic architecture; it's about creating spaces that are truly public and inviting.  That's why the City's significant investment in this project truly represents an investment in the greater public good.  Institutions like Lincoln Center transform our neighborhoods, strengthen our tourism industry, drive economic development, and, above all, feed our spirit.  In the world of art and culture, New York stands apart.  And it's up to both the government and the private sector to work together to keep us there." 

"Today marks a major milestone in the re-imagining of Lincoln Center's campus," said Commissioner Levin. "Thanks to an extraordinary public/private partnership, the transformation of West 65th Street will make the campus function more spectacularly as a public venue for artists, audiences, organizations and the community."

The redevelopment of West 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue is the first step in the revitalization of Lincoln Center, which will make it a more welcoming destination for the five million people who visit the 16 acres each year.

The project will extend the threshold of Lincoln Center and open up the campus to encourage the interaction of artists, students and the public.  Major elements of the project include enhancing street presence for resident organizations on West 65th Street; improving pedestrian and traffic safety by eliminating one car lane; widening sidewalks; replacing the Paul Milstein Plaza with a new footbridge; opening the street to light and air by creating transparent street-level facades; improving information and directions; and expanding and revitalizing Alice Tully Hall, the Julliard School, and the American Ballet rehearsal studios.

Lincoln Center, Inc. has raised $339 million, or 75 % of its share of the estimated $650 million for the West 65th Street project.  The $339 million represents a broad coalition of public and private funding sources for the revitalized West 65th "Street of the Arts" including, for the first time since construction on Lincoln Center began in the fifties, major capital funds secured from all three levels of government. The City of New York has committed up to $90 million for the project.  In addition, Lincoln Center has received 19 gifts of $5 million or more, of which nine are at $10 million and above. Along with government support, donors are broadly represented among individuals, corporations and foundations.

"Lincoln Center was at its beginning and remains to this day, a public/private partnership of the most innovative and creative kind," said Frank Bennack. "It was conceived by and made possible through a broad partnership of elected officials and civic and artistic leaders that was unprecedented in scope when construction began in the late 1950's. Today, ensuring that Lincoln Center endures for another 50 years of great artistic achievement and public service remains a collective endeavor and we are deeply grateful to Mayor Bloomberg and to all of the elected officials who have carried on this great tradition on behalf of their constituents."

"The support of Mayor Bloomberg and his team, especially, First Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris and Commissioners Kate D. Levin, Amanda Burden, Iris Weinshall, Robert Tierney, and Adrian Benepe has been essential to making possible the ongoing progress of this important civic gift," added Reynold Levy. "Revitalizing Lincoln Center will make it a destination for future generations of performing arts patrons, neighbors, students, and visitors, who will enjoy our 16.3 acres of performance and public spaces."

Additionally at today's event, dynamic conceptual designs were previewed for "The Promenade Project," Lincoln Center's second redevelopment initiative by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in collaboration with FX Fowle. The Promenade Project focuses on Lincoln Center's iconic Josie Robertson Plaza and the campus's primary Columbus Avenue entrance. Separately, Morphosis and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects were named as the finalists to design Lincoln Center's recently announced Harmony Atrium initiative.


Stu Loeser / Silvia Alvarez   (212) 788-2958

Sara Rutkowski   (Cultural Affairs)
(212) 643-6690

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