Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lincoln Center: Philharmonic Hall!

By Jennifer Perez     

When one thinks of dancing, singing, music, and so on, many New Yorkers automatically think of Lincoln Center; for it is a world-famous center for performing arts. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, (between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, West 62nd and West 66th Streets) was announced as a project on April 21,1955. It was designed and created by architects Max Abramovitz, Pietro Belluschi, and Eero Saarinen. Lincoln Center consists of many components: the New York State Theater, Metropolitan Opera House, Philharmonic Hall and many more. From my walk around the area, the building that stood out to me more than any other was the Philharmonic Hall. It stood out to me due to the large windows and amazing piers surrounding the building.
The Original Design of Philharmonic Hall (1959) [From New York 1960 by Robert A.M. Stern et al]

The Philharmonic Hall also known as Avery Fisher Hall, was the first building at Lincoln Center to be completed. It opened to the public on September 23, 1962 and was designed by Max Abramovitz of Harrison & Abramovitz. Something I found interesting when researching this building was the original, unbuilt plan for the site. The original design for the Philharmonic Hall was to be a five-story, glass-walled building surrounded by a travertine-coated concrete arcade consisting of nine spaced piers that reminded me of ladders. These nine piers were designed to be 60 feet tall and finished off with 22-foot wide pointed arches. They were suppose to run along the north and south facades while eleven piers ran along the adjacent sides. This design was eventually overthrown with a new design that is today's structure. The new design consists of an arcade only on the plaza side with solid piers 70 feet tall tapered at both ends and finished off with shallow, rounded arcs.

Current status of Philharmonic Hall

The 70 ft tall Piers that surround the building!
The way the building looks just catches my attention for it looks like long multiple columns attached to each other running along the side of the building while the building is within these structures, almost like a hostage, as if it's a box within a box. Another reason why I find the Philharmonic building so interesting is because it has layers and layers of piers that at times create illusions when walking by it or in photographs. When I was reviewing the newsletters from LW! I came across Lincoln Center and couldn't get it out of my head. It popped out from the other buildings and/or areas on the Upper West Side. Mainly because it's the center of the neighborhood and it includes three well-structured buildings that have similar designs but are also distinctive. Many people may not find this building or any other one so interesting but to me it stood out and that's the reason why I like it. 

No comments: