Avery Fisher Hall, a concert hall in New York City, New York, is part of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts complex. It is the home of the New York Philharmonic, with a capacity of 2,738 seats. Designed by Max Abramovitz, the hall opened in 1962 as Philharmonic Hall, as the new home concert venue of the New York Philharmonic, after the orchestra moved from Carnegie Hall. The hall was renamed for Avery Fisher, a member of the Philharmonic board of directors, following his $10.5 million donation to the orchestra in 1973.
Architects hired the acoustical consulting division of Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN) to design the interior acoustics for the hall. Based on their experience designing and analyzing existing concert halls, BBN acousticians recommended that the hall be designed as a "shoebox" with narrowly spaced parallel sides (similar in shape to the acoustically acclaimed Symphony Hall, Boston), with seating for no more than 2,400 patrons. Lincoln Center initially agreed with the recommendation, and BBN provided a series of design specifications and recommendations.
However, the New York Herald Tribune began a campaign to increase the seating capacity of the new hall and late in the design stage, the hall was expanded to accommodate the critics' desires, invalidating much of BBN's acoustical work. BBN engineers told Lincoln Center management that the hall would sound different from their initial intent, but they could not predict what the changes would do.
Avery Fisher Hall is used today for many events, both musical and non-musical.