by Chris Hale
3 Jan 2006

carnegie hall metroway

   Built in 1891 and named after its benefactor, Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Hall is one of the most important and famous concert stages in the world. The Hall “showcases the world’s greatest soloists, conductors and ensembles”. It was designed by architect and cellist William Burnett Tuthill and renovated in 1986. The design of the Main Hall was intended to make the stage the main focal point. In 1962, Carnegie Hall was named a National Historic Landmark.
   Carnegie Hall is comprised of three auditoriums: The Main Hall, the Recital Hall, and the Chamber Music Hall located underneath the Main Hall.
   In 1997, The Main Hall was renamed in honor of the legendary violinist Isaac Stern and has five levels of seating which can accommodate 2,804 people. It was Isaac Stern who saved Carnegie Hall from being demolished by arranging for the City of New York to purchase the Hall under special legislation. The nonprofit Carnegie Hall Corporation was then created in 1960 to run the theatre. In 2006, the stage was renamed and dedicated to Ronald O. Perelman. This Hall is where countless legendary concerts and performances were held. You can explore the history of the Hall with portraits and memorabilia of the legendary artists that have performed at Carnegie Hall by visiting the Rose Museum, located on the First Tier Level. Admission is free.
   The second auditorium was originally named Recital Hall but was renamed Zankel Hall after Judy and Arthur Zankel. Zankel Hall seats 599 and has the distinction of being the first auditorium that was opened in 1891 to the general public. The hall was renovated in 1896 (renamed the Carnegie Lyceum at the time), used as a cinema in the late 1950’s, returned in 1997 for recitals and reconstructed for its new opening in September 2003.
   The third auditorium is Weill Recital Hall named for Joan and Sanford Weill (the chairman of Carnegie Hall’s board). This Hall seats 268 and has been in use since Carnegie Hall first opened in 1891. Originally named the Chamber Music Hall, it went through several name changes from the Carnegie Chamber Music Hall to Carnegie Recital Hall before it became Weill Recital Hall in 1986. Weill Recital Hall is located on the third floor of Carnegie Hall. The intimate Hall is used for master classes and recitals.  
   Adjacent to the Rose Museum is The Carnegie Hall Shop where you can purchase gifts, including books, T-shirts and musical memorabilia of all kinds. Tours are available September thru the end of June (no tours during summer months). Tour # (212) 903-9765.
   Carnegie Hall is located at 154 W. 57th Street, New York, New York, General #(212) 247-7800.

Photo: (c) Don Perdue 2006