Business Spotlight

The Renovated David Geffen Hall Reopens

Oct 14, 2022
The Renovated David Geffen Hall Reopens

Last week, David Geffen Hall reopened after a massive renovation that finished two years ahead of schedule, despite the pandemic. The Wu Tsai Theater is the new home of the New York Philharmonic, which started its 2022-2023 season on October 12th, with its first theme being Home. However, the entire Hall was built to be more welcoming to the entire New York community. Lincoln Center has committed to making exceptional arts and culture accessible to all, and that includes the new design of David Geffen Hall. On the ground floor, several spaces are open to the public without a concert ticket. 

The Welcome Center is not only a place to buy tickets and learn about programs offered across the campus; it’s also a place to meet friends and enjoy refreshments, including espresso drinks, coffee, pastries, and more, at the small café. The Lobby is now twice the size it used to be due to removing the ticketing booths at the entrance and moving the escalators to the perimeter. There is a large responsive LED media display to showcase simulcast concerts, artworks, and more. There are couches and club chairs, as well as free Wi-Fi, to create a Living Room atmosphere for visitors. A bar offering cocktails and food service options contributes to the comfy atmosphere. The space can also be used for performances and opens up to Josie Robertson Plaza thanks to a garage-type glass door.

On the corner of Broadway and 65th Street, a multipurpose space dubbed the Sidewalk Studio is open to the public for performances, lectures, classes, screenings, community meetings, and more. It is independently accessible and visible from the street, making it perfect for improving access to the community.

Another exciting part of David Geffen Hall is the new restaurant opening later this fall called Tatiana, by James Beard Award-winning Chef Kwame Onwuachi. The menu will feature Afro-Caribbean foods. There will be both indoor dining and seasonal outdoor dining.

One level above the lobby is the Grand Promenade. This space is open to ticket-holders for events at the Wu Tsai Theater, beginning 45 minutes before a performance starts. The multiple bars make it the perfect place to enjoy a pre-show cocktail or snack. It can be adapted for performances and event rentals and has access to the outdoor terrace, which overlooks Josie Robertson Plaza.

Then, of course, there is the focal point of the Hall, the Wu Tsai Theater. The Theater was constructed in the existing building structure and is majorly different from the previous concert hall. The stage is now 25 feet closer to the seats, and the overall space is more intimate. However, the main goal of the renovation was to improve the acoustics in the space. The reduction of 500 seats, as well as solid beech wood paneling, variable grooves in the millwork, adjustable acoustic panels, a mesh ceiling, and fabric wall banners, should accomplish that goal. The stage can also be configured in multiple ways to accommodate a variety of performances. The Theater was also improved regarding ADA accessibility. There is assistive listening technology, more accessible seats throughout the Theater, more elevators, and two new wheelchair platform lifts on stairways.

For those who want a closer look at David Geffen Hall, make sure you stop by the free Open House Weekend. On Saturday, October 29th, from 10am – 11pm, you can see live performances by artists and ensembles across genres. It will be a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience New York's newest concert hall. For those with kids, a better option is Family Day on Sunday, October 30th, from 10am – 6pm. Activities include crafting your own Halloween story, learning new dance moves, meeting amazing puppets, and experiencing the magic of live music. Kids and families are encouraged to come dressed in Halloween costumes.

Bravo to our friends at Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic on the reopening of the fully renovated David Geffen Hall! This welcoming, newly designed space will surely make music lovers feel at home. We are so excited that the space is open again. You can experience it for yourself when you attend a NY Phil performance, but anyone can sit and enjoy the public space Monday - Saturday, 10am - 6pm, and Sunday, 12pm - 6pm, no ticket required. Make sure you pay them a visit!