Building Big at Lincoln Center

by Michael Gross Photographed by The Main Event
Monday, May 14, 2018

Real power in New York, the city’s smartest people know, resides in the real estate industry. So when Lincoln Center held its 45th annual Real Estate & Construction Council Gala last week, it threw the doors of its greatest performance venues open to the real estate executives, developers, managers, lawyers and bankers who attended, The evening started with a 5 PM cocktail and a brief 6 PM dinner and awards presentation in David Geffen Hall. Then, guests had their choice of seeing Romeo et Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera House, two Jerome Robbins ballets at the David H. Koch Theater, My Fair Lady at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, and performances by the Esstentially Ellington Alumi Band at Jazz at Lincoln Center and Stephanie J. Block at Cabaret in the Penthouse in the Samuel B. and David Rose Building.

Gary Jacob, co-chair of the council and an executive vice president of Glenwood Management welcomed the crowd to “one of our city’s most iconic institutions. Not only does Lincoln Center embody the cultural excellence synonymous with New York City, but it is a crucial player in defining its identity. In this way, and through the millions of tourists, arts patrons and artists it attracts, Lincoln Center also contributes significantly to the economic vibrancy of the city.”

His co-chair, Jonathan Mechanic, head of the real estate department at the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, introduced the evening’s honorees, Michael Maturo and Scott Rechler, respectively the president and the chairman and CEO or RXR Realty.  

“As a native New Yorker, it is quite an honor and a bit humbling to stand before all of you in a hall that is as iconic as any other landmark in this great city of ours,” Rechler said.  “This quintessential New York institution that we are celebrating is not the product of a grand public works.  Instead, we are able to gather here tonight because sixty years ago a small group of civic leaders dared to dream that New York dream, where you either go big…or you go home.  And they definitely went big.  Led by the great John D. Rockefeller III, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts was built by strong civic leaders who had the vision, the fortitude, and the tenacity to transform a four-city block, 14-acre plot of land into one of the great cultural capitals of the world.  I know I’m not alone in thinking that we need that kind of leadership more than ever today.”

The 841 guests included John Avlon, Gary Barnett, Bill and Katie Elder, Ziel Feldman, Francis Greenburger, Sonny Kalsi, Robert Knakal, Geoffrey Milton, Scott Newmark, Daniel Rose, Keith Rubenstein, Steven Rubenstein,  Larry Silverstein, and Mary Ann Tighe. 

Together, they raised more than $1.9 million, bringing the council’s total contributions to Lincoln Center to more than $32 million since 1973.  


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