Arts

Newsweek: Will Performing Arts Center Pull "Double Duty As Urban-Renaissance Project"?

In the October 12 issue of Newsweek, Cathleen McGuigan takes a visit to the AT&T Performing Arts Center and tells Lincoln Center to watch out. Well, more or less: "Lincoln Center is still the country's premier cultural complex, but it's getting competition from an ambitious project in -- are you ready for it, New Yorkers? -- Dallas." But she wonders the same thing everyone else has been asking since, oh, 1988, maybe? As in: Does an Arts District a "city" make? Writes McGuigan:

Dallas audiences will certainly explore the new complex and the surrounding public space. But weaving it all together to create a dense and urbane neigh-borhood requires more than dramatic buildings by famous architects. Ask the people in another car-centric city: Los Angeles, where the vaunted Disney Concert Hall (also by Gehry) has had almost no effect on creating a street life downtown, even though Gehry proposed a plan, never instigated, to help do just that. "It's almost impossible to design a city," [Renzo] Piano, architect of the Nasher Sculpture Center in the Dallas arts district, once said. "What makes a city beautiful is that it's not designed. Time makes cities beautiful."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky