2. Vivian Beaumont Theater & New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Vivian Beaumont Theater
Eero Saarinen designed the Vivian Beaumont Theater and the exteriors for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts towards the end of his career. The theater is located in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts complex and is New York City’s only Broadway-class theater not located in the Theater District. The theater is named after famous actress Vivian Beaumont, who donated $3 million for a building to house a dramatic repertory company. The theater rather uniquely features stadium seating and a thrust stage configuration, as well as a glass base. When it opened in 1965, the theater was operated by the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center, and from 1973 until 1977, it was managed by the New York Shakespeare Festival under Joseph Papp. An addition by architect Hugh Hardy, called the Claire Tow Theater, was completed in 2012. It was a nice full-circle for Hardy, who actually worked on the Vivian Beaumont Theater in his early career.
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Saarinen and Associates also consulted with Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill on the exteriors of the nearby New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The library sits between the Metropolitan Opera House and the Vivian Beaumont Theater, and it houses one of the world’s largest collections of performing arts materials. The library is home to archival material, text and music manuscripts, dance notation scores, posters, and original set and costume designs.