Performing Arts Center (Manhattan)

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World Trade Center
Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center
Performing Arts Center (Manhattan) is located in New York City
Performing Arts Center (Manhattan)
Location within New York City
General information
Status On hold
Location Vesey Street
Manhattan, New York City
Country  United States
Coordinates 40°42′45.3″N 74°0′44.5″W / 40.712583°N 74.012361°W / 40.712583; -74.012361
Construction started TBD
Completed 2020 (planned)
Cost USD $275 million
Owner Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Design and construction
Architect Joshua Prince-Ramus (REX), Davis Brody Bond

The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center (PACWTC) is a planned multi-space, 150 to 800-seat performing arts center at the northeast corner of the World Trade Center complex, located at the intersection of Vesey, Fulton and Greenwich Streets in Manhattan.


Original design[edit]

Original Gehry model

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) announced on October 12, 2004, that Gehry Partners LLP and Snøhetta, an architectural firm from Norway, would design the Performing Arts Center.[1][2][3] Gehry's proposal, which incorporated a boxlike design, would have housed the Joyce Theater, as the Signature Theater Company had dropped out due to space constraints and cost limitations.[3]

Plans for the construction of the Performing Arts Center were reportedly stalled over financing and design, although construction is also hindered by the presence of the temporary World Trade Center PATH subway station entrance located within its footprint.[4][5][6] On March 3, 2016, the permanent station opened, allowing the temporary station to be demolished.

In February 2014, David Lan, Artistic Director of London's Young Vic Theatre, was announced as Consulting Artistic Director of the PACWTC, a position he will hold simultaneously with his Young Vic leadership. The Center's mission was revised to originate works of theater, music and dance in three small flexible theaters.[7]


PACWTC current basic design, as of 2015

By September 2014, Gehry Associates were no longer connected with the project.[8] Plans were proceeding for the choice of a new architect and future programming for a 2019 opening.[9] Gehry's design was scrapped; the board of the Performing Arts Center planned to choose a new design from one of three other architects. This change came after Maggie Boepple, the president of the Performing Arts Center appointed in 2012, was said to have disapproved of Gehry's work.[10]

In July 2015, it was reported that the construction budget for the Performing Arts Center was to be reduced from $350 million to $200 million. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) announced at a board meeting that the $99 million in federal funds committed to the project was contingent on the arts center’s leaders’ "producing an affordable design and a viable plan for raising the remaining money from private sources."[11]

In November 2015, the Performing Arts Center announced that they had awarded the design architect contract to Joshua Prince-Ramus of Rex Architecture P.C., with the firm Davis Brody Bond to serve as executive architect.[12] The concept art for the new building was revealed on September 8, 2016, with mostly positive reviews from architecture critics.

On June 29, 2016, it was announced that billionaire Ronald Perelman would donate $75 million to the construction and endowment of the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center. Because of his generous contribution to the facility, it was announced the same day that it will be named after him.

When completed, the Performing Arts Center will include approximately 90,000 square feet across three floors. The public floor will be located at street level, and will house a restaurant/bar to provide refreshments during show intermissions. The second floor will consist of rehearsal and dressing rooms for theater actors, and the third floor will house three distinguished theaters. All three theaters are designed so that the walls will be able to rotate and expand to provide extra space for a single theater if needed. The theaters will occupy approximately 1,200 people combined.

In September 2016, Barbra Streisand was named the Center's Chairwoman of the board.[13]

On March 27, 2017, it was announced that construction would be delayed. Reasons cited were ongoing disputes between the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) and the Port Authority regarding funding for the project. The LMDC hopes to work out a deal no later than June.


  1. ^ "The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Announces Selection of Architectural Firms to Design the Performing Arts Complex and the Museum Complex on the World Trade Center Site" (Press release). 2004-10-12. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  2. ^ Spitz, Rebecca (2011-03-09). "9/11 A Decade Later: Glass Atrium Rises At WTC Memorial Site". NY1. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  3. ^ a b Pogrebin, Robin (2007-03-28). "Ground Zero Arts Center Loses Theater Company". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-07-31. 
  4. ^ "WTC Arts Center Snagged". Wall Street Journal. 2014-03-09. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  5. ^ "Future of Gehry's World Trade Center Performing Arts Center Still Uncertain". Architect's Newspaper. 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  6. ^ Dailey, Jessica (10 March 2014). "Things Are Not Looking Good For The WTC Arts Center". Curbed. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "London Director to Draft Arts Vision for Ground Zero". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  8. ^ "Arts Center at Ground Zero Shelves Gehry Design". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-09-14. 
  9. ^ "Ideas for W.T.C. arts center taking shape, although building remains on hold". Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  10. ^ Robin Progrebin (3 September 2014). "Arts Center at Ground Zero Shelves Gehry Design". New York Times. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  11. ^ "Ground Zero Arts Center to Shrink Further". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-07-23. 
  12. ^ Jennifer Smith. "Architect Chosen for Performing Arts Center at World Trade Center". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  13. ^

External links[edit]