The design of Lincoln Center: from forbidding to inviting

Te Sheng Huang, Karen A. Franck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In 1956 Lincoln Center became the centrepiece of a large urban renewal project in New York City. In its original design, this cultural complex resembled a fortress, being disconnected from the surrounding neighbourhood and offering people few reasons to spend time in its spacious outdoor public space. In the 2000s, its site plan was changed, making it a more inviting place. This paper presents the history of Lincoln Center and reveals similarities with the design trajectories of five other cultural or governmental complexes in the U.S. Information is taken from archival sources, interviews with administrators from Lincoln Center, and observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Urban Design
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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