Lincoln Center and the heirs of Avery Fisher, the late electronics pioneer whose name has graced the New York Philharmonic's concert hall for more than four decades, announced an agreement Thursday to allow the venue to rechristen the building, reports The New York Times. The family will receive $15-million and promises that Mr. Fisher's name will continue to be prominently displayed at the hall.
The unusual pact paves the way for Lincoln Center to seek a major gift, with naming rights as a lure, to help fund a $500-million renovation of the concert hall, opened in 1962 and renamed for Mr. Fisher 11 years later in honor of a $10.5-million gift.
Twelve years ago the Fishers threatened legal action if Avery Fisher Hall was rebuilt or renovated under a new name. Nancy Fisher, one of Mr. Fisher's three children, said that with the rest of Lincoln Center having undergone a major refurbishment, the family now recognizes the need for major work on the concert hall, which has been criticized for poor acoustics and outdated audience amenities. "The hall was like an old slipper," she said.