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Central Park’s iconic Delacorte Theater will get Bjarke Ingels-designed makeover

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The $110 million renovation will kick off in 2020

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Central Park’s iconic amphitheater is getting a much-needed renovation that will be helmed by architect Bjarke Ingels.

The Delacorte Theater, where the Public Theater hosts its popular free Shakespeare in the Park productions every summer, will receive a $110 million upgrade that will kick off in 2020, reports the New York Times. The Public Theater calls it the largest project that the group has ever undertaken and it will be the first major upgrade that Delacorte Theater has seen since it was built in 1962.

The outdated theater has been showing signs of decay and its production spaces, which is currently just a few outdoor tables, could benefit from a redesign as well. The Times notes that the stairs currently aren’t A.D.A. accessible and the women’s bathroom is located too far away with too few stalls. The renovation will aim to rectify these issues, and Public Theater is even consulting with climatologists to discuss ways of making Delacorte better equipped for cold weather.

One thing the renovation will not do is disrupt the theater’s “rustic charm,” as the Times calls it. It will not reduce seating capacity, and may even look for ways to expand it, and will maintain the “experience of sitting in the open air,” said Oskar Eustis, the artistic director for Public Theater, to the Times.

The renovation process will involve the city’s Department of Parks, the Central Park Conservancy, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Public Theaters has raised nearly $10 million thus far for the renovation and the city has allocated $9.8 million in funding. Construction is hoping to wrap up in 2022.

The Public Theater

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Central Park

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