“Despite a wrenching economy, the Music Center hasn’t abandoned an ambitious renovation plan centering on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and also involving the large outdoor plaza between the Chandler Pavilion and the Mark Taper Forum, according to a financial analysis issued Wednesday by Moody’s Investor Service,” writes Mike Boehm in Friday’s (4/9) Los Angeles Times. According to the article the reported cost could be more than $250 million, “more than doubling the previous, 3-year-old estimate of more than $100 million, which included only the Chandler Pavilion…. Early in 2008, before the financial meltdown that year, Music Center President Stephen Rountree had laid out a timetable in which renovation of the Chandler Pavilion would have proceeded in small stages over four summers, followed by a major overhaul that would have required shutting down the hall in 2013. L.A. Opera, the Pavilion’s main tenant, has long wished for expanded backstage facilities, and the hall’s acoustics come in for continual criticism and were a crucial selling point for the nearly $300-million construction of Walt Disney Concert Hall as a home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Master Chorale.” At present there is no timetable for the renovation, and the Moody’s report says that the Music Center would need to take on almost $150 million in new debt, supplemented by donations and county funds. 

Posted April 9, 2010