Music Hall has been open to the public for just about two weeks, and already the extensive renovations are serving as a model for success to other cities. New York City, to be more specific. A recent New York Times article by Michael Cooper called out the magnificent success of Music Hall's renewal. That success, Cooper argues, could outline a way forward for New York City to renovate Geffen Hall. The New York Philharmonic's home in Lincoln Center faces many of the same age and accessibility challenges that once plagued Cincinnati's iconic landmark.
Geffen Hall's ills are nothing new. Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic have been debating svolutions for almost twenty years. Earlier this month, they were forced to scrap a $500 million renovation plan. Now, Cincinnati may have shown them the way forward.
All of the issues the New York Philharmonic is facing existed for the resident companies of Music Hall. The need for a temporary home, the fear of an escalating budget, the desire to improve upon acoustics: the team behind the renovation of Music Hall approached each obstacle and deftly vaulted over them. Asked if he thought Music Hall could be used as a road map for Geffen Hall, CSO music director Louis Langrée laughed and said, "Oh, yes, I think so."
This is only the latest in a growing number of articles in prominent publications that are pointing to Cincinnati's arts scene and telling the world, "This is how it should be done." No wonder our community takes such pride in supporting the arts. No wonder the ArtsWave Blueprint for Collective Action for the Arts Sector focuses on how the arts can put Cincinnati on the map. What better way than a thriving arts sector (or possibly a premature hippo) to attract this sort of renown?