“This is a big year for golden anniversaries,” writes Ada Louise Huxtable in Wednesday’s (7/1) Wall Street Journal. “Lincoln Center is marking its first half-century with a year-long celebration and an ambitious rebuilding program, and the Guggenheim Museum is honoring its 50th with a huge show that pays homage to its famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, who died in 1959, the same year the building was completed. … Like many performing arts centers of the time, [Lincoln Center] began as an urban renewal site. … By design, Lincoln Center was isolated from its surroundings. In accordance with one of the more faulty modernist practices of the day, it was built on a platform, or ‘podium’ (a favorite buzz word), separating it from the city streets and dedicating it to access by car.” But that’s all changing thanks to revisions by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro. “The bunker mentality of the podium design is being broken down by ‘chipping away at the edges,’ in [Diller Scofidio + Renfro founding partner Elizabeth] Diller’s words, opening up the buildings and spaces to meet the streets they have ignored for so long, reuniting Lincoln Center with the city and making everything more accessible for public use.”

Posted July 1, 2009