Rendering via REX Architecture
The project to bring a performing arts center to the World Trade Center is finally back on track, almost 15 years after the idea was included in the original vision for rebuilding the area post-9/11. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday an agreement for a 99-year lease between the Port Authority and the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center Inc. (PAC) for $1 per year, paving the way for construction to begin. Named for the billionaire who gifted $75 million to the project, the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center will include 200,000 square feet of space, three halls and a rehearsal space, a restaurant and a gift shop. If everything moves smoothly, the center could open as soon as the 2020 or 2021 season.
Rendering via DBOX/ REX Architecture
Rendering of 250-person auditorium rendering via Luxigon
To cover below-ground construction, the Port Authority will receive $48 million from the Lower Manhattan Development. The authority is completing the below-grade structure on the future site of the arts center, bounded by Vesey, Greenwich and Fulton Streets. This phase is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
“New York is home to some of the most renowned cultural and creative institutions in the world and with this new performing arts center, Manhattan will cement its reputation as an international hub for the arts,” Cuomo said in a press release. “This new facility will secure New York City’s status as a premier cultural destination while supporting tourism, jobs and economic growth for the entire Empire State.”
Although the performing space was a part of the original World Center Master Plan for the 16-acre site, funding disputes stalled the project on and off for years. After architect Frank Gehry’s design was shelved for the project, PAC tapped Brooklyn-based studio REX in 2015 to lead the redesign. About $295 million of the $362 million cost for the project has been raised.
The board of the performing arts center announced on Friday that Bill Rauch will be the center’s artistic director, after serving as the director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for 12 years.
“I’m humbled and honored by this tremendous opportunity to be part of fostering a place for transformative art to take place and cultivating a community gathering space at a site that has such powerful emotional resonance for New York City, our country and the world,” Raunch said in a press release.
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