With the gentrification going on in Manhattan, especially Times Square, we are seeing so many iconic music establishments close as the years pass by. Most recently we have seen The Roseland Ballroom close its doors, and of course the legendary CBGB in 2006, both closed with incredible performances by Lady Gaga and Patti Smith, respectively. However there is still one that not only remains open but has also kept up with the changing times and stayed modern throughout- that is the epic Manhattan Center located right outside Penn Station on West 34th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue.
The Manhattan Center is home to two pretty recognizable arenas- the Hammerstein Ballroom and the Grand Ballroom, as well as two different Television and Audio Studios. I had the chance to experience two huge events recently at the Manhattan Center, one being an amazing concert put on by British Songstress Lily Allen over the summer that was taped for the hit PBS series “Live From The Artist’s Den” and most recently the season finale of the Dave Navarro Show “Ink Master”, which airs on Spike TV.
This year, The Manhattan Center celebrates as well with a fresh executive team to reposition the studios in the corporate and social structure as well as renovations to offer a facelift to the esteemed property. Markus Karr, who was recently promoted to president from vice president of the studios, is at the helm with newly appointed director of sales and marketing, Jessica Rothstein Berman. Together, the two will position the Manhattan Center as THE event space for all corporate and social functions in addition to working with the New Yorker Hotel complex in the expansion of both facilities.
I was fortunate enough to tour the venue itself and to say it is Grand is a huge understatement. It is large enough to hold events of all kinds, albeit a music superstar or a conference that can fit hundreds with room to grow. They also have a ton of upcoming gigs including Grammy nominated crooner Hozier, who is currently topping the charts with his hit “Take Me To Church” on March 22nd, and English Singer-Songwriter Ben Howard on January 30th. Both will take place at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Definitely worth the trip down on the 1/2/3, A/C/E with your friends and seeing what all the fuss is about.
For more information on The Manhattan Center, log on to their official site.