Lincoln Center Installs Safety Bollards at Prominent Spot in Front of Campus

New concrete bollards showed up late last month in front of the main Lincoln Center plaza as a temporary safety measure designed to thwart attacks.

Lincoln Center isn’t the only institution adding obstacles like bollards. The JCC on 76th and Amsterdam has had cylindrical metal barriers in front of the building for years, and the city installed new concrete barriers last year on the Hudson River Greenway path following a terrorist attack where the assailant drove a truck into bicyclists.

But the Lincoln Center bollards are somewhat different. They’re in the middle of an iconic campus, whose architecture is a major draw for tourists. So the arts institution took special care to try to make them blend in. A Lincoln Center spokeswoman sent the following statement.

“Lincoln Center remains vigilant about creating a safe and beautiful campus environment. This installation of temporary bollards is designed to help keep the campus even more secure from the types of attacks we’ve seen elsewhere in recent years.

These temporary concrete bollards, designed by the team who helped us with our earlier redevelopment, were created thoughtfully and will be in place as we explore permanent options. The form and placement tap into Lincoln Center’s DNA, relating to existing design elements such as the steel canopy supports that flank the steps, as well as the sculptural facades of Geffen Hall and Koch Theater.  Subtle creases and facets create a play of light and shadow that enrich the form and diminish the mass. The color of the faceted form was derived from the painted steel canopy supports. Their shape and placement encourage gathering and informal seating.”

Thanks to Bobby Panza for the photos.

NEWS | 39 comments | permalink
    1. J. L. R. says:

      They’re ugly. Hopefully “temporary” means less than a year.

    2. BillyNYC says:

      Yes!!! I saw this two weeks ago before I went on my two month summer vacation – Great design and style !!! The city of New York should take some ideas from the style instead of those white cement blocks… So ugly and so primitive.

    3. LuluT says:

      These look good! I wasn’t sure if they were seats/art. Nice design job.

    4. Wendy says:

      I noticed them right away. Not particularly attractive. People are sitting on them. Lincoln Center should really place them at the edge of the plaza, closer to the street. That’s where any kind of attack (like a car) would originate). Creepy.

    5. Juan says:

      It is really sad that this is necessary. But it is nice that there is now seating in that area as it has always been lacking.

    6. JM Kass says:

      This is “blending in”? These are the ugliest bollards known to man.

    7. Glen says:

      They look terrible, really brutalist; at least they could put flower boxes on top to soften the look.

    8. Tony Adams says:

      Blend in??!! Have you seen them?? They look related to the hideous Movado clock across the street, but they don’t blend in with anything else. And “temporary?” How much you wanna bet they will still be sitting there three years from now?

      • Jen says:

        Amazing. You choose the look over safety? I can’t believe people are complaining. And I do hope they sit there for a long time to protect us from a possibility of a terror act.

    9. David says:

      As Shostakovich was considered by many to be a secret or hidden dissident, perhaps these bollards are meant to protect culture lovers from his followers during performances of his music.

    10. Beverly says:

      Better safe than beautiful.

    11. Bea says:

      Blend in?? They are hideous!

    12. Bea says:

      Beyond hideous!! OMG!

    13. Nelson says:

      Necessary, sadly. But Thumbs Down on the design. They certainly do not “blend in” nor “create a play of light and shadow!”

    14. Leon says:

      These comments are further proof of the theory that opinions are like belly buttons – everybody’s got one…

    15. Frank says:

      And it only took Lincoln Center’s over-paid leadership 17 years to place them!

    16. Albert175 says:

      Astonishingly ugly. As a devotee of LC, I’m saddened. I wonder what major donors think about this?

    17. MattNYC says:

      nothing called “Bollards” can possibly look good.

    18. J says:

      On a related topic….wondering if anyone knows….does anyone/vehicles use the below-level driveway in front of Lincoln Center?
      This driveway was created during the renovation, replacing the former above-street-level/set-back driveway.
      Have never seen anyone use the “new” below-level driveway- instead vehicles drop off, pickup and stand in the street, blocking a lane of traffic…

    19. Jake says:

      So, the beautiful architecture that distracted me momentarily from all the other intrusive aspects of the utter police state this city is is now being intruded upon by the anti-terrorism industry with these “bollards”? 1,500 of these people-dividing uglies coming to city this year… Does it occur to anyone supporting this policy that driving a car into a building isn’t the only way of creating terror in public? Or is this just soothing enough for the time being to quell your highly specific, media-influenced fears?

    20. Denton says:

      I love them and I love the way they subtly curved the array. The community is already using them for seating and relaxing. If you can get a young ballerina in a tutu to stand on them, they make a great photo. Beofre the guards chase you away.

      • bystander says:

        I agree. I thought they were the best design solution for bollard protection. Usable for casual seating, low maintenance and functional. The designers turned an object that reminds us of the constant risk of terrorist attack and turned it into something people will use and enjoy.

    21. BJK says:

      Since people seem to like sitting on top of them, can’t they put seat backs or something on them to make them look more aesthetically pleasing or at least to give the illusion that they are for a more benign purpose?

    22. Brenda says:

      I appreciate the effort they made. I suspect before long we will simply see them as welcome seating and not the unpleasant reminder of the times in which we live.

      • dannyboy says:

        This is in fact the SECOND effort. The first was the walls built to protect Lincoln Center partrons from the neighborhood.

        Ugly both times.

    23. Tru says:

      How tragic that we’ve come to this. They’re ugly and a symbol of the hate that has taken over our world.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        HATE from WHOM?

        • EricaC says:

          It had to be you, yes, it had to be you ….

          I guess it is nice to have some predictability in the world.

          • UWSHebrew says:

            I know you feel warm and fuzzy inside, along with your other pals on here who love to call me racist, but most of the rest of the country agrees with me. Not you. Enjoy Trump’s re-election!

        • dannyboy says:

          If you could only think for a moment, you’d come to realize that by targeting groups as outliers the RESULT IS THAT EXACTLY YOUR GROUP GETS TARGETED:

          “It is just a snapshot, but it makes for a plenty ugly picture all the same: The New York City Commission on Human Rights surveyed more than 3,000 Muslim, Jewish and Sikh residents of the city late in 2017 and found striking rates of racially and or religiously motivated assault, harassment and workplace discrimination.”

    24. dannyboy says:

      Can we expect military-themed music and dance?

    25. chase says:

      they’re gross but i understand what they’re trying to do… safety is important. hopefully they can find something suitably pleasant soon.

    26. Smithe says:

      I have no problem with their aesthetic but I’m not sure why they would put these at the TOP of the stairs. It would seem to make more sense to have incorporated them into the plaza at the bottom closer to the street since they are trying to prevent vehicles from entering the area. There is still adequate space between the street and the bollards for people to get mowed down so I don’t think they’re as effective as they could be.

    27. nero says:

      This is so stupid. Typical overreaction to a very rare event by our moronic city fathers. If a terrorist wanted to kill people he could run his vehicles to any road crossing in Manhattan.