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A rendering of PAC
LuxigonA rendering of PAC

A massive new performing arts center is opening at the World Trade Center

Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center is expected to open in 2023

Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Written by
Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

New York's cultural revival is in full swing, with several impressive projects in the works giving locals much to look forward to in the coming years.

One such project, of pretty epic proportions, is the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC), a 129,000-square-foot multi use space that will be able to seat up to 1200 guests in the shadow of 1 World Trade.

The plan to add an cultural and artistic performance space to the World Trade Center site originated nearly two decades ago, as part of 2003's master plan to rebuild the World Trade Site. The plan, approved by then-mayor Michael Bloomberg, moved forward in 2006 when Bloomberg became chairmanship of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, In 2020, he also became chair of the PAC, with goals to promote the growth and vitality of Lower Manhattan.

"PAC will be a unique venue for theater, dance, music, film and chamber opera," says its website. "It will offer artists new kinds of theatrical design possibilities and new opportunities to create innovative multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary work."

PAC aims to be a place where local creatives can commune in open public space during the day, and take part in live performance at night. 

A flexible building construction with movable walls will allow for 11 different theater configurations. Three separate theaters can be used in several different configurations, to accommodate audiences from 99 seats to 1,200 seats. With current restrictions in mind, PAC is also being built with contemporary ventilation systems, touchless bathrooms, and screens that anticipate a future of live performance and new media that may not always rely on live people standing on stage in front of an audience. 

This summer, PAC hit its latest construction milestone, with design architect REX topping off the three-story building, getting the performance center yet another step closer to opening. 

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