52 Facts About Carnegie Hall


Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City.

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Carnegie Hall has its own artistic programming, development, and marketing departments and presents about 250 performances each season.

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Carnegie Hall was proposed for demolition in the 1950s in advance of the New York Philharmonic relocating to Lincoln Center in 1962.

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Carnegie Hall was renovated multiple times throughout its history, including in the 1940s and 1980s.

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Carnegie Hall is on the east side of Seventh Avenue between 56th Street and 57th Street, two blocks south of Central Park, in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood of New York City.

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Carnegie Hall is part of an artistic hub that developed around the two blocks of West 57th Street from Sixth Avenue west to Broadway during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Carnegie Hall was constructed with heavy masonry bearing walls, as lighter structural steel framework was not widely used when the building was completed.

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Carnegie Hall is composed of three structures arranged in an "L" shape; each structure contains one of the hall's performance spaces.

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Carnegie Hall was designed from the outset with a facade of Roman brick.

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The main entrance of Carnegie Hall is placed in what was originally the center of the primary facade on 57th Street.

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An entablature, with the words "Music Hall Founded by Andrew Carnegie", runs across the loggia at the springing of the arches.

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Carnegie Hall was extended to the corner of Seventh Avenue and 56th Street, where a 13-story addition was designed in a similar style as the original building.

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Originally called simply Recital Carnegie Hall, this was the first auditorium to open to the public in April 1891.

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Zankel Carnegie Hall is accessible and its stage is 44 feet wide and 25 feet deep.

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The Weill Recital Carnegie Hall is the smallest of the three performance spaces, with a total of 268 seats.

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Above the Chamber Music Carnegie Hall was a large chapter-room, a meeting room, a gymnasium, and twelve short-term "lodge rooms" in the roof.

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The 56th Street side of Carnegie Hall was designed with rooms for the choruses, soloists, and conductors, as well as offices and lodge rooms.

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Documents showed that Andrew Carnegie had always considered the spaces as a source of income to support the hall and its activities.

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In 2007, the Carnegie Hall Corporation announced plans to evict the 33 remaining studio residents, including celebrity portrait photographer Editta Sherman and fashion photographer Bill Cunningham.

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Idea for what is Carnegie Hall came from Leopold Damrosch, the conductor of Oratorio Society of New York and the New York Symphony Society.

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Stern, the Music Carnegie Hall was "unique in that it was free of commercial sponsorship and exclusively dedicated to musical performance".

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Recital Carnegie Hall opened in March 1891 for recitals of the New York Oratorio Society.

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The Music Hall officially opened on May 5, 1891, with a rendition of the Old 100th hymn, a speech by Episcopal bishop Henry C Potter, and a concert conducted by Walter Damrosch and Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

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Carnegie Hall was uncertain that the supporting columns would withstand the weight of the crowd in attendance, but the dimensions turned out to be sufficient to support the weight of the crowd.

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The Music Carnegie Hall Company discussed enlarging the main auditorium's stage so it could accommodate operas.

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The Music Carnegie Hall Company filed plans for alterations in December 1892.

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Carnegie Hall officials renovated the building in 1920, replacing its porte-cochere, overhauling the Philharmonic Society's office, and removing staircases for about $70, 000.

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The sale agreement included a clause requiring that either Carnegie Hall would continue to operate as a performance venue for at least the next five years, or another performance venue would be erected on the site.

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In 1959, two hundred residents of Carnegie Hall's studios were asked if they wanted to buy the building.

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For 15 years, the Carnegie Hall Corporation paid the New York City government $183, 600 in cash, Afterward, the corporation started paying the city through benefit concerts and outreach programs.

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Carnegie Hall was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962.

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The Carnegie Hall Cinema opened in May 1961 with a showing of the film White Nights by Luchino Visconti.

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Carnegie Hall received a concert organ from the Netherlands in 1965, although the stage had to be renovated before the organ could be installed.

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Meanwhile, Carnegie Hall was profitable by the late 1960s, having consistently hosted about 350 shows a year during that decade.

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Carnegie Hall became a more popular destination in the 1960s and 1970s, in part because of complaints over acoustics in the new Philharmonic Hall.

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The deficiencies with Carnegie Hall's facilities became more prominent after the latter's renovation.

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Carnegie Hall began to deteriorate due to neglect, and the corporation faced fiscal deficits.

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Carnegie Hall's equipment included a rundown air-conditioning system that did not work in the summer.

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In 1977, the Carnegie Hall Corporation decided to stop allowing new residents for its upper-story studios; existing residents were allowed to continue living there.

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In 1979, the board of Carnegie Hall Corporation hired James Stewart Polshek and his firm, Polshek Partnership, to create a master plan for Carnegie Hall's renovation and expansion.

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The Carnegie Hall Corporation was looking to develop a vacant lot immediately east of Carnegie Hall.

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The concrete was removed in mid-1995 while Carnegie Hall was closed for the summer; soon afterward, critics described a noticeable change in the acoustics.

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In late 1998, Carnegie Hall announced that it would turn the basement recital hall into another performance venue, designed by Polshek Associates.

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Zankel Carnegie Hall had been planned to open in early 2003, but the opening date was postponed due to the city's economic difficulties after the September 11 attacks in 2001.

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In June 2003, tentative plans were made for the Philharmonic to return to Carnegie Hall beginning in 2006, and for the orchestra to merge its business operations with those of the venue.

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Carnegie Hall Corporation announced in 2007 that it would evict all the remaining tenants of its upper-story studios so the corporation could convert the space into offices.

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In 2014, Carnegie Hall opened its Judith and Burton Resnick Education Wing.

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Carnegie Hall closed temporarily in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City.

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Carnegie Hall's lobbies are adorned with signed portraits and memorabilia from various performers.

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Carnegie Hall was desegregated from its opening, in contrast to other music venues like the National Theatre, which remained segregated well into the 20th century.

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Carnegie Hall was used for popular music as early as 1912, when James Reese Europe's Clef Club Orchestra performed a "proto-jazz" concert there.

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Many legendary jazz and popular music performers have given performances at Carnegie Hall including Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Billie Holiday, Billy Eckstine, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Keith Jarrett, Judy Garland, Harry Belafonte, Charles Aznavour, Simon and Garfunkel, Paul Robeson, Nina Simone, Shirley Bassey, James Taylor, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, all of whom made recordings of their concerts there.

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