“I’m relieved that Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic have scrapped a long-gestating and ever-costlier plan to eviscerate Geffen Hall and insert an entirely new building inside Max Abramowitz’s travertine 1962 shell,” writes Justin Davidson in Monday’s (10/10) New York Magazine. “The public never saw the latest design, by Thomas Heatherwick and Diamond Schmitt Architects, so it’s impossible to assess how much we’ll miss it. But when Lincoln Center’s new president Debora Spar and her new Philharmonic counterpart, Deborah Borda, took a look at the price tag ($500 million and rising fast) and the time that the hall would go dark (two years and lengthening), they quickly decided to shut down the project and pursue a more modest and gradual plan. … I have never been convinced that the Geffen Hall really had half a billion dollars’ worth of problems, or that such a gargantuan sum could buy the perfect, or even near-perfect concert hall. … By knocking out the upper balcony, cutting down the number of seats, moving the stage out into the room (as already happens for Mostly Mozart) and fitting out the interior with sound-diffusing finishes, Lincoln Center should be able to buy itself what matters most—deluxe acoustics—even if the rest of its wish list goes unmet.”

Posted October 10, 2017