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Lincoln Center Agrees to Make Avery Fisher Hall More Handicap-Friendly

By Emily Frost | June 29, 2012 12:52pm
A new wheelchair ramp makes Avery Fisher Hall accessible.
A new wheelchair ramp makes Avery Fisher Hall accessible.
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DNAinfo/ Emily Frost

UPPER WEST SIDE — Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts' legendary Avery Fisher Hall has agreed to undergo a set of renovations to better accommodate disabled guests after federal prosecutors charged the legendary music hall was off-limits to patrons with disabilities.

Lincoln Center settled a lawsuit Thursday with US Attorney Preet Bharara, after federal investigators found that the 1962 hall's entrance doorways are too narrow and that it doesn't have enough wheelchair-accessible seating areas or bathroom space.

The building has agreed to install additional wheelchair and companion seating, as well as seats that guests can move into from their wheelchairs.

Lincoln Center said work was already underway but that it would complete the renovations over the next 12 to 18 months.

The lawsuit came about after a Lincoln Center guest in a wheelchair complained that the facilities did not appropriately accommodate those with disabilities.

Lincoln Center would not disclose the amount of the civil penalty nor the damages awarded to affected patrons, saying only that "we are spending what is necessary to enhance accessibility based on the terms of the agreement with the Manhattan US Attorney."

"We are pleased that this has been resolved and that Avery Fisher Hall will be even more accessible to the  tens of  thousands of patrons who visit each year."

The settlement was approved by U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon.