Change in insurance liability could mean extra cost to Lincoln Center

Posted on: May 20, 2010

In Thursday’s (5/20) New York Times, Robin Pogrebin writes, “In the brightness of morning, when the sun glints off the gushing fountain, or at twilight, as people cross the travertine on their way to performances, the plaza at Lincoln Center can be one of New York’s tranquil oases. Unless, of course, you’re an insurance executive who sees instead the potential orthopedic calamity created by the convergence of splashing water, polished stone and big crowds. … Thirty-two of the 33 cultural organizations that operate in city-owned buildings or on city-owned land have long agreed to indemnify the city against liability for slips and falls and other stumbles. Only Lincoln Center has not been governed by that policy. But now the city is demanding that Lincoln Center join the others in assuming liability for its public spaces, a change that the institution is strenuously resisting. The shift would cost money at a time of budget challenges — by one estimate, at least $1.4 million a year, though precisely how much is unclear. … The standoff coincides with the $1.2 billion redevelopment of the Lincoln Center campus, an ambitious overhaul that largely focused on the public areas, like the fountain plaza and the West 65th Street corridor, home to the Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater and the Film Society of Lincoln Center.”

Posted May 20, 2010