Lincoln Hall

A home for music

The Music Department and the Sidney Cox Library of Music and Dance are housed in Lincoln Hall, a handsome brick structure built in 1881 that was extensively renovated and expanded in 2000. The new building includes ample practice and rehearsal rooms, well-equipped classrooms, comfortable new offices for faculty and teaching assistants, a specially designed gamelan room, several digital music studios, a digital piano lab, and a spacious, open-stack music library with modern listening, video, and computer facilities and a wide variety of attractive study areas. The Sidney Cox Library of Music and Dance has an excellent collection containing approximately 131,000 periodicals, books, scores, and parts; 56,000 sound and video recordings; and a microfilm collection of early printed and manuscript sources. Its depth and breadth serve the needs of a wide variety of users on the campus. Highlights of the research collection include early opera libretti and scores, eighteenth-century keyboard and chamber music, and an archive of American popular song from 1850-1950.

A needed renovation

A $19 million renovation finished in 2000 brought Lincoln Hall into the new age, a Lincoln Hall Renaissance. To provide the Department of Music with need-specific space, the interior of Lincoln Hall was renovated and a new, 18,640 square-foot wing designed to blend gracefully with the existing structure was constructed. The architectural firm of Schepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbot of Boston, who created the prize-winning Kroch Library and the Law School addition on the Cornell campus, designed the new space. After spending eight years developing and designing the “new” Lincoln Hall, work began in March 1999 and was completed in the fall of 2000.

Highlights of the project included:

  • Usable square footage increased from 31,000 to 44,000. A new addition to Lincoln Hall was added onto the east facade of the existing building facing East Avenue (where the original Lincoln Hall was left unfinished in 1888) to provide four levels of usable space as well as a new main entrance/atrium to provide a sense of identity for the facility.
  • The total space for the Music Library increased by 70 percent, representing approximately 50 percent of the total program area of the Lincoln Hall renovation and expansion project.
  • A 2,850 square-foot rehearsal room (two stories high) is an integral part of the new addition, with 600 square feet of adjacent space for storage of instruments and music.
  • The number of rooms available for student practice increased from 9 to 29 to accommodate the approximately 1,100 students who, at any one time, regularly study in the department or participate in one of its ensembles.
  • A gamelan world-music room, two stories high, was located in the new addition to replace the existing space in Lincoln Hall.
  • Temperature and humidity control was ensured to maintain musical instruments and to preserve library collections.
  • Acoustical construction systems were used to provide sound isolation between music spaces and sound quality within spaces.