Broadway Producer Gives $10 Million Gift to Carnegie Hall for Studio Towers Renovation
Carnegie Hall today announced that a $10 million major gift from Judith and Burton Resnick will provide important support toward its Studio Towers Renovation Project, a comprehensive undertaking that will create new inspirational spaces for music education on the building's existing upper floors while also fully refurbishing the venue's backstage areas. The project, scheduled to be completed and opened in 2014, will be transformational for Carnegie Hall, creating new facilities designed to make great music accessible to as many people as possible.
The 61,000-square foot Judith B. and Burton P. Resnick Education Wing-newly-named in recognition of this gift and the Resnick family's longtime support of Carnegie Hall-will include new ensemble rooms, practice rooms, and teaching studios atop the landmark building as well as a state-of-the-art home for Carnegie Hall's Archives. Collectively, these facilities will ultimately provide a wonderful setting in which to inspire a lifelong love of music in young musicians, students, and educators, with the new spaces supporting Carnegie Hall's music education and community programs that are serving an increasing number of people each year in New York City and around the world.
"It gives me great pleasure to recognize Judy and Burt Resnick for this incredibly generous gift-important funding that will help to ensure that Carnegie Hall is positioned to meet audiences' needs in the twenty-first century as well as it has done in the past," said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall's Executive and Artistic Director. "Judy and Burt have long been dedicated supporters of Carnegie Hall, and they have personally given so much of themselves and their time, to this project in particular. On behalf of everyone at the Hall, I want to thank them for everything that they do for Carnegie Hall, day in and out, and for the significant impact that this funding will have in safeguarding the Hall for the future."
"We strongly believe in the importance of music education, and we are very proud to be associated with both the Hall's new education center and the innovative programs of Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute that will find a home there," said Mr. and Mrs. Resnick. "We know that this new space will inspire our City's children and music lovers of all ages for generations to come."
Burton P. Resnick has been a Carnegie Hall trustee since 1988 and a vice chairman of the Hall's board since 2010. Mr. Resnick is also chairman of the Hall's Building Committee which has oversight over all major capital projects at Carnegie Hall. Major projects undertaken during his tenure include the construction of Judy and Arthur Zankel Hall, which opened in 2003, and the current Studio Towers Renovation Project. Judy Resnick has been a member of Carnegie Hall's Special Events Committee for more than two decades, serving together with Burt as Chairs of the Opening Night Gala Journal for eleven years.
With this generous gift, more than $205 million has been raised in support of the $224 million renovation project. Among the pledges made to Carnegie Hall's capital campaign are a major leadership gift from Joan and Sanford I. Weill and The Weill Family Fund and significant funding from New York City and New York State. The total also includes $56.5 million in net proceeds from bonds issued through the Trust for Cultural Resources from the City of New York.
Burton P. Resnick is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Jack Resnick & Sons, Inc. Since its founding in 1928 by Burt's late father, Jack, the company has been in the forefront of the real estate development, construction, ownership and management business in New York. The firm presently controls in excess of five million square feet of first class real estate in prime locations in New York City, and it counts among its holdings some of the city's most important residential and commercial buildings. Mr. Resnick is Chairman Emeritus of the Real Estate Board of New York, Inc. and is actively involved with many philanthropic organization, including, among others, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Chairman Emeritus), the Real Estate Council of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Co-Chairman Emeritus), Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale, and Weill Cornell Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences.
Judith B. Resnick is a noted Broadway producer and owner of PJS Productions, whose recent credits include The History Boys, 2006 Tony Award Winner for Best Play, and The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, 2012 Tony Award Winner for Best Revival of a Musical and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical (Audra McDonald). Like her husband, Judy is also very active in philanthropic circles, serving on the boards of several organizations, including The American Friends of the Israel Museum and the Israel Philharmonic, the international board of the Israel Philharmonic, and Thirteen-WNET.
In May 2007, Carnegie Hall announced its plans to undertake extensive renovations of its two Studio Towers-the South Tower added by Andrew Carnegie in 1894, which rises 12 stories from street level on West 56th Street and stretches across the roofline of the 1891 concert venue; and the 16-story North Tower added in 1897 on top of the northeast corner of the building, facing West 57th Street.
The completion of the new Judith B. and Burton P. Resnick Education Wing, spread across the upper floors of Carnegie Hall's North and South Towers, will add twenty-four new music rooms to the landmark building, enabling many music education activities now taking place off-site in inadequate spaces to be brought into spaces designed especially for these activities, connecting program participants with the inspirational setting of Carnegie Hall. These new practice rooms, teaching studios, and ensemble rooms will be vital resources for Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute (WMI), which offers a wide range of music education and community programs for people from all walks of life, and also for The Academy-a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and WMI in partnership with New York City's Department of Education-a prestigious two-year fellowship designed to prepare talented young professional musicians for careers that combine musical excellence with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, and leadership.
The music rooms will be used for a variety of educational activities including interactive events for children; rehearsals by students participating in Carnegie Hall creative learning projects and by fellows of The Academy; master classes and workshops for young musicians; and professional development activities for educators, teaching artists, and Carnegie Hall musicians who serve audiences in schools and community venues throughout New York City. Overall, they will be inspirational and vibrant spaces where people will have the opportunity to meet, learn, explore, and share musical experiences.
Located within the Resnick Education Wing, Carnegie Hall's Archives will be upgraded with state-of-the-art high density storage. A new reading and listening room for visitors will increase access to Carnegie Hall's historic collections. Adjacent to the Wing will be a new outdoor Roof Terrace-a feature first envisioned in 1892 by the building's original architect, William Burnet Tuthill, now re-imagined for the twenty-first century-a gathering place for users of the building: performers and concertgoers; families, teachers, students, and staff.
The Studio Towers Renovation Project will also allow Carnegie Hall to fully refurbish its backstage areas (located largely within its South Tower), upgrading artistic support spaces and ensuring that the venue continues to serve New York City as the top international destination for the world's greatest performers and ensembles with amenities that match the world-class quality of the artistic environment on stage.
The backstage area will be doubled from three to six floors and modernized in line with the wide variety of performances undertaken at Carnegie Hall. Three new backstage rooms will be added, including an Artists' Lounge at the stage level of Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage and a Green Room on the second floor. Access to the Stern / Perelman stage-left entrance will be restored, greatly enhancing production capabilities. In addition, the location of artists' dressing rooms will be consolidated, including increased access for those with disabilities. Fewer stairs in the new backstage design will make it easier for musicians to navigate off stage, especially with large instruments.
Through these renovations, many elements of Carnegie Hall's 122-year-old building infrastructure will be upgraded to contemporary standards for safety and accessibility. Administrative offices will be consolidated for greater efficiency, and the building will become more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, upon project completion, achieving LEED Silver certification and compliance with the NYC Green Buildings Law. Thanks to Carnegie Hall's original 450 windows on the upper floors, natural light will be maximized in the building's design. New environmental control systems and plumbing as well as special features unique to the Roof Terrace (such as plantings and reflective pavers) will help reduce energy needs. In addition, key elements of the building's exterior and interior will be restored. Among the elements of the plans, signature architectural features-cast-iron stairs, original steel trusses, vaulted ceilings, window casings, fireplace mantles, and more-will be preserved or replicated throughout the renovated facility.
Construction work on the Studio Towers Renovation Project began in 2009, and has taken place over multiple years, coordinated with Carnegie Hall's performance and rehearsal schedules. Carnegie Hall's three auditoriums will not be touched by the renovations. Iu + Bibliowicz Architects LLP is architect for the project. Tishman Construction Corporation is Carnegie Hall's construction manager.