Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an agreement between Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to relocate Orpheus and Apollo to the new LaGuardia Airport’s Central Hall.
Orpheus and Apollo, the work of New York sculptor Richard Lippold, was installed in 1962 in the Grand Promenade of David Geffen Hall, then called Philharmonic Hall and later Avery Fisher Hall. Originally a gift from the Ittleson Foundation, the sculpture is made up of Muntz metal bars individually suspended by steel cables.
Last year, Lincoln Center announced that Orpheus and Apollo would not be returned to David Geffen Hall due to modifications in the hall to accommodate an expanded program of artistic performances, community programming and other events. When Paul Goldberger, the architecture critic who served as an advisor to both the port authority on its LaGuardia redevelopment plan and to Lincoln Center in its planned renovation of David Geffen Hall, learned that the plans for the hall would preclude the re-installation of the sculpture in its original location, he suggested moving it to the airport.
After consultation with the Lippold Foundation, Gov. Cuomo, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Lincoln Center officials came together and agreed that the 5-ton work of art would be transferred to the port authority for display at the new LaGuardia Airport’s Central Hall, due to open in 2022.
The new Central Hall of LaGuardia Airport will be a fitting home for Orpheus and Apollo. Much like the Grand Promenade at David Geffen Hall, LaGuardia Airport’s Central Hall is well-suited to the lines and the shape of the sculpture, offering a variety of vistas and perspectives of the piece. It is expected to also be visible both day and night from the Grand Central Parkway and from the approach ramps to the airport, beckoning visitors toward the new terminal.
The reimagination of David Geffen Hall will transform the theatre and all public spaces, enhancing the concertgoing experience, fostering a sense of community, and creating bold and innovative ways to connect with the world outside.
Opening in fall 2022, the project will support 6,000 jobs throughout the city and state, have a minimum 30 percent construction participation by Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises, 40 percent workforce inclusion, and incorporates a workforce development program established with area officials and community members to create additional job opportunities for local residents.
With the agreement in place to transfer Orpheus and Apollo from Lincoln Center to the port authority, restoration of the sculpture will be led by Lincoln Center and noted conservationist Marc Roussel. Once restored, it will be transferred to the Central Hall at LaGuardia Airport for installation in its new location in advance of its anticipated completion in 2022.
In 2015, Gov. Cuomo first unveiled his vision for the redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport. Under his plan, a whole new LGA will provide a 21st century passenger experience. The $8 billion project, two-thirds of which is funded through private financing and existing passenger fees, broke ground four years ago in 2016.