Billionaire businessman Ronald Perelman donates US$75m for World Trade Center performing arts complex

by Kim Megson | 01 Jul 2016

Investor and philanthropist Ronald Perelman has donated US$75m (€67m, £56m) towards the construction and operation of the planned Performing Arts Center (PAC) at the World Trade Center in New York.

The 80,000sq ft (7,400sq m) mixed-use cultural venue – which will produce works of theatre, dance, music, opera and film – is currently being designed by New York studio REX Architecture, but questions had surrounded how the project would be funded.

Perelman has long been a patron of the arts, and has previously donated large sums to the Apollo Theater Foundation, The Guggenheim and to Carnegie Hall. The PAC will be named in his honour.

The centre will form part of the wider World Trade Center complex commemorating the combined 2,983 people killed in the 9/11 attacks and the 1993 bombing of the site.

“I think that this is a project that must happen,” Perelman said in an interview with the New York Times. “It's more than just a pure artistic centre to serve a community. It is that, but at the same time it’s much more than that.”

A statement on the PAC website hailed Perelman’s intervention as “an enormous step towards realising the PAC vision.”

The businessman is among an elite club of billionaires funding cultural projects in New York. David Geffen has donated millions of dollars for the expansion of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Thomas Heatherwick-led renovation of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Meanwhile, media mogul Barry Diller is funding the construction of Heatherwick’s Pier 55 and a host of new performance spaces on the Hudson River.

The first designs for the PAC are expected to be unveiled before the end of the year.

Ronald Perelman  World Trade Center Performing Arts Center  New York  architecture  design 
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Investor and philanthropist Ronald Perelman has donated US$75m (€67m, £56m) towards the construction and operation of the planned Performing Arts Center (PAC) at the World Trade Center in New York. The 80,000sq ft (7,400sq m) mixed-use cultural venue – which will produce works of theatre, dance, music, opera and film – is currently being designed by New York studio REX Architecture, but questions had surrounded how the project would be
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The arts complex will feature within the wider World Trade Center complex / DBOX
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