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Yeah! :unsure: Per The New York Times:

City Center, dedicated by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia in 1943 as Manhattan’s first major performing arts center, is embarking on a $75 million renovation and restoration of its landmark neo-Moorish building on West 55th Street.
“It’s a venue that is so loved, so whatever we did to enhance that wonderful, quirky building, we wanted it to still be City Center,” said Duncan Hazard, the partner in charge of the project at Polshek. “That said, we really wanted to cure a lot of the limitations that the venue has always had.”

The priority was improving the sightlines, Mr. Hazard said, “to redesign the building so we offered to all the seats a full view of the stage.”

I'm not sure about the "so loved" part, but I know I will like it a lot more if my view of the stage isn't blocked by the head in front of me. A little more leg room would be nice, too ...

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I hope that they do some work to uncover the quirky painting on the first balcony lobby. Some time ago, the layers and layers of paint that had accreted over the original "Mecca Temple" wall paintings started falling off, and I hoped that management would conserve the early art. Sandscape, palm trees, pyramids, camels...I sometimes found myself humming, "We are the Sons of the De-sert....♫"

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You'll do anything for a catchy tune...

oh lord yes, Kahtleen, this is the best news I've heard in years about a renovation, and actually saying that the priority will be the one that should be the priority--almost unheard of. I don't even care if they decided to rename it after some terrible person all that much.

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I don't even care if they decided to rename it after some terrible person all that much.


New York State -- the whole tri-state area, in fact -- is rich, rich, rich in recently disgraced public officials. Perhaps some of their best friends can be persuaded to pull out their check books to see to it that said officials' reputations are buffed up a bit before they are sent off into history.

The City Center folks are thinking of the artists too, by the way:

Back-of-house improvements include a new sprung stage floor suitable for dance, new theatrical support systems and refurbished dressing rooms.

Is the current stage floor not sprung / suitable for dance? If that's the case, it shares priority with the sightlines.

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The present stage is what I call "traditionally" sprung with pine flooring laid over large hardwood girders and joists. The subfloor is supported by crossbraces toenailed to the supporting beams and is rather like the floors in MY house (built 1939) but of rather stouter stuff. It's not a bad stage, and as a matter of fact, when NYCB moved into Lincoln Center, they compared the stage at the New York State Theater unfavorably to the one at City Center because the former was "too hard".

Modern sprung-stage flooring may have superseded the type found in the old places, but when you can find a classic stage, it's usually great!

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Just this weekend, I was complaining to a friend that now that we've memorized the "names" of our favorite seats (those with minimally head-obstructed sightlines) , because of the rake of the apparent support structure, there's no guarantee that their replacements will offer improvement. We may have to learn the house all over again, from scratch.

Being able to request -- and get -- specific seats has made City Center a pretty-well-loved venue by me, anyway.

But all those brain cells, suddenly rendered obsolete. :wallbash:

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