Naming opportunities: Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall to be renamed

Posted on: November 14, 2014

“Since its adolescence more than four decades ago, the New York Philharmonic’s home at Lincoln Center has been known as Avery Fisher Hall,” writes Robin Pogrebin in Thursday’s (11/14) New York Times. “Now, as the orchestra prepares for a major renovation expected to cost more than $500 million, the Fisher family has agreed to relinquish the name so the Philharmonic and Lincoln Center can lure a large donor with the promise of rechristening the building. The unusual agreement … is a significant turnaround from 12 years ago, when the family of Avery Fisher, the music philanthropist who gave $10 million in 1973 to support the building, threatened legal action if the concert hall was rebuilt or renovated under a new name. Lincoln Center is essentially paying the family $15 million for permission to drop the name and has included several other inducements.… While the ability to raise money through naming opportunities has become a staple tool for arts organizations, perhaps no event speaks louder to its utility as a fund-raising mechanism than Lincoln Center’s willingness to pay the family of a veteran donor to step away so it can court a new benefactor.… The Philharmonic is planning a comprehensive interior reconstruction, to begin in 2019.”

Posted November 14, 2014