Renovated New York City Center To Reopen in October
By Kiratiana Freelon on August 3, 2011 8:47am
MIDTOWN — After a $75 million round of renovations, the New York City Center will reopen on Oct. 25 with a star-studded gala.
The building was constructed in 1923 as a meeting hall for Shriners and became a city-owned performing arts center in 1943 under Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.
“City Center has been one of the city’s preeminent performing arts centers for nearly 70 years," Arlene Shuler, City Center’s President & CEO said in a statement. Shuler called the center a “vital part” of the city’s cultural fabric.
As part of the renovations, the building now has a new bronze and glass marquee on the street level, a redesigned lobby, new box office ticket window and concessions bar, a video display wall and renovated lounge area, City Center officials said in a press release. The auditorium will have new seating with expanding legroom and improved sightlines, along with renovated dressing rooms and updated backstage amenities.
The center also boasts a LEED-certified eco-friendly rating, thanks to water-saving toilets, energy-efficient lighting, recycling programs and nontoxic cleaning products.
The center will open after a ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg conducting the Encores! Orchestra, mirroring LaGuardia’s conducting of the New York Philharmonic at the building’s dedication as a performing arts center in 1943.
The Encores! show will be directed by Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall, the former artistic director of the Center, and current music director Rob Berman.