The State Theater of New York was one of the original buildings in Lincoln Center, completed in 1964 as part of the urban renewal of New York City’s Lincoln Square. Home of the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera, the building was showing its age by the turn of the millenium. Lincoln Center’s board launched a $200 million capital campaign to renovate in two phases.
David Koch, one of the wealthiest businessmen in America, and a major philanthropist, had been attending ballets and concerts at the theater since it was built. He was also known as an art lover, having given generously to the Metropolitan Museum of Art over the years. Koch was convinced that the sublime performances presented in the theater needed a modernized building to hold them. Inspired by financier Stephen Schwarzman’s recent $100 million donation to the New York Public Library, Koch agreed to donate $100 million through his foundation over 10 years to renovate and maintain the State Theater. The project was completed on schedule in 2009.
- “David H. Koch, New York’s Richest Resident, Pledges $100 Million to Renovate New York State Theater,” New York Times, July 10, 2008, nytimes.com
- Koch Family Foundations, kochfamilyfoundations.org
- David H. Koch Theatre, davidhkochtheater.com