Disney Hall Los Angeles
This majestic structure stands the pride of Los Angeles and is a testament to the city’s love for the performing arts and music. The Walt Disney Hall is located at 111 South Grand Avenue in downtown Angeles and forms one of the United States’ largest performing arts centers. The fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music center also includes the Ahmanson Theatre, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (to the right of the music hall), Mark Taper Forum, and the Roy & Edna Disney CalArts Theatre. The foyer combines features of a vineyard-style seating configuration with the classical shoebox design of halls like the Boston symphony hall.
Today, the Music hall is home to 2 internationally renowned performance companies: The Los Angeles Philharmonics and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and has a seating capacity of 2,265. The Walt Disney Hall is an unrivaled destination for classical, contemporary, and jazz music lovers to visit. A prominent feature of this hall is its 6,134 pipe organ, towering over the stage. From a distance, they almost look like French fries!
History & Construction
The planning of this project began in 1987, when Lillian Disney, widow of the great Walt Disney, made an initial gift of $50 million to construct a performance arts venue, as a tribute to her deceased husband and as a gift to the city celebrating Walt’s devotion to both. In 1991, architect Frank Gehry completed the hall designs, but construction couldn’t begin until 1999 due to insufficient funds for such an ambitious undertaking. However, the underground parking garage was constructed by 1996 and cost $110 million alone, paid for by the Los Angeles County.
After then-mayor Richard Riordan raised additional funds, the construction could begin in earnest. It cost an additional $130 million and took about four years to complete the inaugurated music hall in 2003. Frank Gehry intended for the hall’s exterior to resemble stone in his original plan because he believed the stone would glow at night, making the Disney hall look more beautiful. Instead, the hall’s exterior was designed with stainless steel and a matte finish for smoothness appearance. Gehry’s love for sailing inspired the sailboat, like the appearance of the hall. This deconstructionist-style architecture has rendered it an internationally recognized architectural landmark, one of the most acoustically refined galleries globally.
Planning a Visit?
The LA Philharmonics, one of the Disney music hall residents, offers a guided tour of the venue, exploring all the hall’s acoustic features and its rich history. And since you’re there, why not attend a concert too? Tour timings vary according to the concert schedule each day, accessed on the LA Phil website. The music hall also features a 5-star fine dining restaurant, Patina, often booked for catered affairs. The restaurant presents a tasty menu of French-American and local Californian cuisines.