Less than a year since he stepped down as the chairman of Carnegie Hall -after clashing with its staff, Ronald O. Perelman, the billionaire businessman, announced that he was donating $75 million to revive plans to build a performing arts center at the World Trade Center site.
(A rendering of the future site of the Performing Arts Center
at the World Trade Center. Credit DBOX)
His donation immediately catapulted the long-stalled performing arts center, one of the last major pieces of unfinished business at the World Trade Center site, from aspirational to achievable and places him among a new generation of power brokers and billionaires who are reshaping — and renaming — the cultural infrastructure of New York. In recognition of his gift,
The new theater complex, which will sit on one of the most emotionally resonant and most visited spots in the city, will be named for Mr. Perelman.
“I think that this is a project that must happen,” Mr. Perelman said in an interview, adding that he had been drawn to it by the vision of the role that art could play at the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and in the continuing rebuilding of the area. “It is more than just a pure artistic center to serve a community. It is that, but at the same time it’s much more than that.”
In the last few years, the city’s wealthy elite have chiseled their names into some of the city’s most iconic cultural institutions — or sought to build their own. The New York Public Library’s main branch on Fifth Avenue has been renamed for Stephen A. Schwarzman, the old New York State Theater for David H. Koch and Avery Fisher (nee Philharmonic) Hall at Lincoln Center for David Geffen.
(Ronald O. Perelman last year. CreditDorothy Hong for The New York Times
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