The enduring Walt Disney Concert Hall is located in downtown Los Angeles at the address of 111 S. Grand Avenue. It officially opened its doors in 2003 and has since become an iconic architectural masterpiece. It has the capacity to seat approximately 2265 individuals and its sole purpose is to be the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It boasts what is considered a classic shoebox design often described as being reminiscent of Boston Symphony Hall.
The Hall itself has taken decades to complete, but was originally thought of by Walt Disney’s widow, Lillian. She wanted an enduring way to remember her husband and treat the people of Los Angeles, so in 1987, she made a considerable contribution of 50 million dollars to construct the building. Frank Gehry’s masterpiece architecture is now on display for the world to see, and thanks to Minoru Nagata’s acoustics, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Frank Gehry was able to create the construction plans for this masterpiece in 1991, at which time, the construction of the underground parking garage started (1992). The parking garage was completed in 1996, but it far exceeded the budget, costing 110 million dollars. Due to a lack of funding for the construction of the main structure, the building stalled for further fundraising.
Certain design elements were changed, such as the stone clad exterior that was replaced with a more affordable stainless steel outer shell. A long fundraising campaign began headed by Richard Riordan and Eli Broad in 1996. The hall’s official groundbreaking was held in 1999, but debt was piled high for the underground parking garage. It was believed that the price of parking tickets would help raise the missing funds.
2003 was the official year of completion, but the budget was far exceeded. The Walt Disney Concert Hall had cost 274 million dollars— more than what anyone bargained for. Since its grand opening, it has seen thousands upon thousands of tourists and local residents while also getting featured in movies and popular TV shows. It is an iconic landmark, much like the Hollywood Sign, an enduring testament to Walt Disney’s legacy.