Advocacy Archive

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana


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Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

On May 1, 2000, the New York State Office of Historic Preservation (SHPO) issued an official determination that Lincoln Center is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, in response to a comprehensive, professional report prepared by LW! proving its exceptional significance as the nation’s original cultural center. Now, Lincoln Center has enlisted architects Diller, Scofidio + Renfro to renovate the campus’ public spaces and alter the Juilliard School building (Pietro Belluschi, 1969).

Alterations to “eligible” properties must be reviewed by the SHPO under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1964, which provides some measure of protection against unsympathetic renovations if state or federal funds are used. Lincoln Center claims that no such funds will be applied to the current phase of the project, which impacts Juilliard, West 65th Street, and Plaza North. Since Spring 2003, LW! has met several times with Lincoln Center President Reynold Levy, Chairman Bruce Crawford, and members of the design team to discuss preservation issues raised by the proposed scheme. On April 28, 2004, we wrote a letter to Lincoln Center President Reynold Levy in response to conceptual plans developed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro. In January 2005, after the project commenced the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) to win approvals for a series of special permits, LW! received a follow-up briefing. Click here to see our response.

In our view, several of the proposed alterations would have an adverse impact on the historic Lincoln Center campus. We are working to persuade Lincoln Center to modify the design to preserve key architectural and landscape elements.

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