Architecture Program



Ryan Boe

Date of this Version

May 2006

Document Type



M. Arch. Thesis, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, May 2006.


“Architecture is frozen music. Music is thawed architecture. How can the two arts be compared or juxtaposed? Or, how can they co-exist and interact with each other when they come together and intersect? (Grueneisen pg. 10).” Music, like architecture, plays a profound role in our everyday lives; it has the power to uplift us with a single gesture. Like architecture, music has its movements of change and their respective moments that create those changes. The three-day music festival of 1969 known as Woodstock provided the world of music with such a monumental moment in time. But, this monumental moment in time is being tarnished and almost destroyed some thirty years after its creation. In 1998, billionaire Alan Gerry purchased the land outside of Bethel, New York that includes the original Woodstock 1969 site. Alan Gerry’s intent was to create a Performing Arts Center on this site. Richard Meier was originally the selected architect, but he cancelled the project in early spring of 2001(see plate 1 – photo 1). The firm of Clough-Harbour and Associates was then selected to design the forty-million dollar facility (see plate 1 – photos 2 and 3). The project, if built, will demolish the entire Woodstock site; instead of using the other surrounding acres. This demolition would also destroy permanent structures and monuments that were left over from the Woodstock festival (see plate 1 – photos 4 and 5). With the current condition of the Bethel Performing Arts Center being halted by the Historical Preservation Society for defacing the character and significance of the site, there seems to be a need for a new design. There must be a design alternative to re-establish the sense of place that is tied to the Woodstock site. Woodstock must be revisited, musically and architecturally, to inspire and capture the spirit of expression.

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