Zankel Hall, one of our many projects in the restoration of Carnegie Hall. It had been a theater until the 1960s, and a cinema until 1997. their big seven-year vision blog into bite-size, accomplishable portions of work. During each twenty-six-week burst, construction would go on around the clock, with materials being delivered at all hours.
The Carnegie Hall renovation project was considered an important innovation in the process of building; for me, it was also a spiritually meaningful project because of all the wonderful music I had heard over the decades at Carnegie.
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Prior to this project, our firm had not done much in the way of renovations; we were used to building entirely new structures. Working within a hundred-year-old building venerated by many people was not easy for our crews, but we managed.
The old Carnegie Hall’s glory was the sound that it produced; musicians loved it and so did the audiences. But when the newly renovated hall opened, some musicians were very upset because the stage seemed to be too hard, and some orchestra members did not feel the usual vibrations made by their colleagues during the course of playing.
Seeking a culprit, they blamed the flooring—specifically, what they believed to be concrete under the floor. And that, they believed, was the fault of Tishman Construction.
The rumor—for it was only a rumor, not reality—spread like wildfire and was very difficult to refute. There was something extra hard about the floors, and it had affected the sound. The New York Times printed an article that said just that, so it must be true!