In order to fund a huge, $500 million renovation, Lincoln Center is getting ready to offer up naming rights to Avery Fisher Hall. In order to do so, however, they first needed to get the okay from Avery Fisher's family, which came with a hefty pricetag.
According to The NY Times, the family relinquishing the name allows the Philharmonic and Lincoln Center to bring in a large donor, whom the building will be renamed for (remember when Stephen A. Schwarzman gave $100 million to the NYPL?). The paper reports:
"The unusual agreement, announced on Thursday, is a significant turnaround from 12 years ago, when the family of Fisher, the music philanthropist who financed a 1973 renovation of the building, threatened legal action if the concert hall was rebuilt or renovated under a new name. Lincoln Center is essentially paying the family $15 million for permission to drop the name and has included several other inducements, like a promise to feature prominent tributes to Avery Fisher in the lobby of the renovated concert hall.
Avery Fisher gave $10.5 million to renovate the building (over $53 million in today's dollars), requiring his name to "appear on tickets, brochures, program announcements, advertisements and the like, and I consent in perpetuity to such use."
Lincoln Center has undergone a huge nearly campus-wide renovation recently, and Fisher's daughter Nancy told the Times, "I watched as the campus started to change. It invited the public in, it didn’t look so forbidding and formal anymore," adding that "the new energy generated by the renovated spaces at Lincoln Center had pointed up Avery Fisher Hall’s mustiness."
Avery Fisher will still be a part of the concert hall, with many tributes, including induction into the new Lincoln Center Hall of Fame: