New York Philharmonic’s Geffen Hall Undergoes Massive $550 Million Renovation

New York Philharmonic's Geffen Hall Undergoes Massive $550 Million Renovation
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New York Philharmonic's Geffen Hall Undergoes Massive $550 Million Renovation
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Photo of Geffen Hall by Ajay Suresh (CC BY 2.0)

The New York Philharmonic and the Lincoln Center announced that they would renovate Geffen Hall at a cost of $550 million, which will both reduce the seating capacity of the hall by 500 and cause the philharmonic to relocate for part of the 2023-24 season.

So far, the philharmonic and the Lincoln Center have raised $360 million for the renovation, which they expect to complete by the spring of 2024.

As part of the renovation, both the building’s escalators and box office will be relocated. This will allow space in both the lobby and grand promenade to double. There will also be plenty of additions to the building, such as:

  • A media streaming wall in the lobby
  • A welcome center
  • A sidewalk studio for educational activities
  • Areas for art installations

The renovation will further provide new patron lounges and dining options.

As for the hall itself, around 67% of its third tier will be eliminated. The stage will also come forward 25 feet. This will allow for an additional seven rows of seating in the back of the orchestra.

It is expected that ticket prices for performances at the hall will also increase, but the philharmonic insists that they would increase even without a renovation.

The philharmonic and the Lincoln Center, in conjunction with the announcement, held a joint news conference. Participating were Deborah Borda, who is the president of the philharmonic, and Henry Timms, who is the president of Lincoln Center.

Timms said, “We’re looking forward to creating a hall that the city deserves.”

The hall, which was originally known as Philharmonic Hall, was built in 1962 at a cost of $21 million. In 1973, it was renamed Avery Fisher Hall. It was recently renamed Geffen Hall after producer David Geffen donated $100 million toward renovating the hall, which has long been criticized for emphasizing brass over lower strings.