Lincoln Centre

Lincoln Centre

Lincoln Center, technically Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, on New York City's Upper West Side, is the nation's premier cultural arts complex. Begun in 1959, a result of the city's urban renewal initiative, the 16.3-acre facility includes 12 performance halls as well as educational and rehearsal buildings. Lincoln Center is home to the Metropolitan Opera Company, Jazz Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic, and several other well-known performance companies.


Lincoln Center was conceived in the mid -1950s, a part of Robert Moses' grand plan for Manhattan. The list of architects involved in the project reads like a "Who's Who" of mid-century modern architecture and design. It includes Max Abramovitz (Avery Fisher Hall), Eero Saarinen (Vivian Beaumont Theater), and Wallace Harrison (The Metropolitan Opera House). The complex took a decade to complete, with Avery Fisher Hall being the first to open in 1962. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Building joined the grouping in 2004.

The Buildings

The Lincoln Center complex includes the following buildings:

*Alice Tully Hall - a 1095-seat facility, located within the Julliard School of Music. It is the home of the "Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center."

*Avery Fisher Hall - known to many PBS viewers, this 2738-seat concert hall is the home of the "New York Philharmonic."

*The Metropolitan Opera House - the 3900-seat home stage of the "Metropolitan Opera Company."

*The New York State Theater - a 2713-seat theater, home to the "New York City Ballet" company and the "New York City Opera."

*The Vivian Beaumont Theater - a 1047-seat Broadway-style theater

*The Mitzi e. Newhouse Theater - a smaller, more intimate, 334-seat stage theater, formerly called "The Forum."

*The Walter Reade Theater - a 268-seat movie theater and home to the "Film Society of Lincoln Center."

*Jazz at Lincoln Center - the newest edition to the Lincoln Center family, this multi-facility performance center is located with the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, a block away from the other buildings. It includes a nightclub-style venue, an amphitheater, a 1094-seat concert hall and a rehearsal facility.

The complex is also home to the prestigious Julliard School (for music) and the Lincoln Center Institute, a inter-disciplinary educational center.

The plaza in front of the complex is noted for its grand fountain, the scene of many movies, including "Moonstuck". The plaza is also the site of the complex's annual holiday tree lighting ceremony, second only in popularity to the one at Rockefeller Center.

Performances at Lincoln Center

Performances at Lincoln Center run the gamut from high opera to family-friendly afternoon shows to Cabaret Theater. In addition, regular annual events, such as the interdisciplinary "Mostly Mozart" Festival and the Christmas concert series are perennial crowd-pleasers.

Visiting Lincoln Center

In addition to performances, a variety of tours are offered of the Lincoln Center complex. Themes include the history, architecture, and legends of Lincoln Center. There are even tours that include a performance, followed by a visit from one of the Center's "artists-in-residence". Most daytime tours last one hour.

The Lincoln Center complex has four restaurants, ranging from "Café Vienna", a luncheon café in Avery Fisher Hall to the "Grand Tier Restaurant", located in the Metropolitan Opera House. Most of the restaurants have limited hours, arranged around performances. Shopping at Lincoln Center includes the Julliard School bookstore, the Performing Arts Shop, the (art) Gallery at Lincoln Center, and the Avery Fisher Hall gift shop.

Lincoln Center is easily reached from all parts of New York City via bus, cab, and taxi. Performance tickets may be purchased directly from Lincoln Center at the complex box office or online.

Location: 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, New York
Phone: 212 875-5000

Click here to visit Lincoln Center official website.