Tuesday (1/29) on his Baltimore Sun blog Clef Notes and Drama Queens, Tim Smith reports, “It’s not quite the gigantic, $650 million project envisioned a decade ago by Kennedy Center president Michael Kaiser, but the $100 million southward expansion announced Tuesday marks a major step for the institution. With a lead gift of $50 million from the center’s chairman, Baltimore-born David M. Rubenstein, the building venture, being designed by Steven Holl Architects, will see pavilions for classrooms, multipurpose facilities and rehearsal spaces rise on the property just south of the Kennedy Center, toward the Roosevelt Bridge. It’s the biggest expansion since the center opened in 1971. In a nice retro touch, the project will include space for outdoor performances on a facility floating on the Potomac—not far from where the National Symphony Orchestra used to give summertime concerts on a barge … The expansion will provide a boost to the center’s education work. ‘The Kennedy Center has the largest arts education program in the country without having any dedicated facilities to serve these growing programs,’ Kaiser said. Other features of the project include an outdoor video wall for simulcasting performances, and public gardens.”

Posted January 30, 2013