New York's Lincoln Center new visitor center to offer discounted 'day-of' tickets

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Part of a year-long series of events through May 2010 that celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lincoln Center, America's premier performing arts complex in New York City, a new Atrium will officially open on November 24.

The 7,000-square-foot (650-square-meter) structure offers a gathering place with activities and amenities for the millions of annual visitors at Lincoln Center. The airy space features two 21-foot-high (6.4 meters) theatrical gardens, a dramatic floor-to-ceiling fountain, 44-foot-wide (13.4 meters) media wall with performances and information.

The Atrium also displays an art installation by Dutch textile artisan Claudy Jungsta, includes a café, free wifi, free weekly concerts, and for the first time, a single central box office offering "day-of" discounts.

Designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, it will be the first LEEDS-certified "green" building on the 16-acre (6.5 hectare) campus. The "transformation" of the complex includes extensive renovations and modernization of buildings such as Alice Tully Hall, home of the Philharmonic Orchestra.

The "Street of the Arts" connects several of Lincoln Center's cultural institutions including the Juilliard School, School of American Ballet, and Film Society. Even the original Philip Johnson fountain in the central plaza has been renovated with state-of-the-art lighting and technology that creates an animated display of choreographed jets of water.

At the library's gallery on campus, Lincoln Center: Celebrating 50 Years, an exhibit of 400 pieces shows the history in photos, props and costumes from the New York Ballet and Metropolitan opera productions. Iconic personalities, such as conductor Leonard Bernstein, and landmark performances like diva Beverly Sills' last performance, are on display through January 16, 2010.

Also, for the 50th, special performances, commissions, and events are scheduled. On November 13-14, the world premiere of Pictures Reframed features Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes with acclaimed video artist Robin Rhode create a visually dynamic experience to Musorgsky's classic Pictures at an Exhibition.