Carnegie Hall Restoration
and Judy & Arthur Zankel Hall

New York, NY

Project Details

Zankel Hall
Completed 2003
40,100 sf
$72 million

Polshek Partnership Architects

Image © Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Carnegie Hall, built in 1891, is one of the most prestigious venues in the world for classical and popular music. The building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964.

Silman’s work included repairs to the building’s exterior, restoration of the interior, and a new underground performance hall. Repairs to the exterior masonry included replacement of terra cotta, brick, and stone, and repair of severely corroded structural steel behind brick using a novel method of concrete encasement. Additional projects included a new marquee replicating the original design, and the repair of sidewalk vaults.

The restoration of the interior of the main hall included a new stage shell, lighting tiara, stage and seating in the at-grade lobby, as well as installation of elevators to ADA compliance regulations.

The new third stage, Zankel Hall, is a multiple-use 650-seat performance space below the main concert hall, including new balconies, stage, and accessory spaces. The space is designed with high-tech interactive communication and audio-visual technology for distance learning and doubles as an education center reaching from pre-school and public school children to young professionals.

Significant rock excavation was necessary to enable orchestra level installation. Included was temporary shoring of the floor of the main hall above to allow for rock removal. The existing cast iron columns supporting the main floor were removed and it was re-supported on a new sloping elliptical concrete wall. Silman also addressed the need for sound isolation from the main hall and subway to the new performance space. Construction was completed while the main hall maintained a full schedule.

2003 New York Construction News – Institutional Project of the Year
2004 ACEC National Engineering Excellence Awards – Grand Award
2004 ACEC NY Diamond Award
2004 AIA New York Chapter Interior Honor Award