New World Center Timeline

NWS in the Lincoln Theatre

With growing success and international stature, NWS’s artistic, Board and administrative leadership realized that its home, the Lincoln Theatre, as it existed then, was rapidly becoming a “one room schoolhouse.”


Several studies were commissioned to determine how or even if the Lincoln Theatre could be renovated and expanded to meet growing institutional needs for more and better space and technology. The historic preservation constraints, coupled with the total inability to expand in any direction but up, made any material improvements impractical and prohibitively expensive.


NWS requests a small parcel of existing parking lot from the City of Miami Beach. The City made NWS’s request the centerpiece of a master development plan for the area that would also include a parking garage and public greenspace.

Frank Gehry and MTT

NWS begins negotiations with the City of Miami Beach for a ground lease and development agreement and receives a $200,000 anonymous grant to hire Frank Gehry for the limited purposed of exploring ideas. NWS also hired Theatre Project Consultants to help create, review and verify the building program.

Frank Gehry and MTT

Frank Gehry visits Miami Beach, holding meetings with Michael Tilson Thomas, NWS leadership and acoustician Dr. Yasuhisa Toyota. He and Michael surveyed the future home of the New World Center from the Lincoln Theatre’s roof.


During a design review meeting with the City of Miami Beach, Frank Gehry proposes adding a video screen to the New World Center’s eastern façade. The WALLCAST® concert concept was born.

MTT conducting a Bulldozer Dance

On January 23, 2008, NWS held a Groundbreaking Ceremony, which included a concert, conversation between MTT and Frank Gehry (remotely), speeches by community leaders, and MTT conducting a Bulldozer Dance.


With a $5 million endowment grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, NWS establishes the Knight New Media Center – a centerpiece of the future New World Center, allowing NWS to explore a digital future for classical music.

NWC Topping Off Ceremony

The New World Center’s Topping Off Ceremony is held on January 28, 2009. The ceremony is a tradition that marks the final beam placement, commemorating the completion of a building’s structure.

Fellows enter the New World Center for the first time

Fellows enter the New World Center for the first rehearsal on stage to test the acoustics.

NWC Grand Opening

The New World Center opens on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 with a Grand Opening Ceremony that included a concert led by MTT and the inauguration of SoundScape Park (then named Miami Beach SoundScape) by the City of Miami Beach.

New World Center first WALLCAST® Concert

During the New World Center’s opening week celebrations, NWS launches two of its new concert formats, made possible by the NWC’s design—the first Journey Concert on Thursday, January 27 and the first WALLCAST® Concert on Friday, January 28.


NWS receives the following awards for the New World Center: Urban Land Institute for Excellence Award from The Americas, Global Award for Excellence from the Urban Land Institute, Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design from the American Institute of Architects and a Judge’s Special Award from the Beacon Council.

NWC on cover of Site and Sound book

NWC featured on the cover of Victoria Newhouse’s book Site and Sound, and in Greater Miami Convention and Visitor’s Bureau’s “It’s So Miami” campaign.


NWS receives the following awards for the New World Center: National Recognition Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies, and the first of consecutive Certificate of Excellence awards by Trip Advisor.

First Late Night at the New World Symphony concert

NWS hosts its first Late Night at the New World Symphony concert (formerly named Pulse), a new concert format that was also featured that year on the cover of Symphony magazine. That year the New World Center also received the Innovative Architecture Award from the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.

 New World Center at night

The New World Center hosted the international Pritzker Architecture Prize celebration, recognizing it as a unique and architecturally significant site throughout the world and reinforcing the importance of the built environment.


The New World Center was also featured as a case study in Building Better Arts Facilities, a collection of cultural construction projects, and received its first upgrade: the installation of a powerful new recording system in the Performance Hall and Truist Pavilion.

MTT and the Discovery Channel team

NWS was featured as the premiere cultural organization for The Discovery Channel’s virtual reality campaign, “Let’s Go Places.” MTT hosted the Discovery Channel team at the New World Center, which global audiences experienced in 360 degrees.


New World Center updates included a new telescopic system for seating by Belgium-based Jezet Seating and the installation of 4K cameras by Hitachi in the Performance Hall, the acquisition and installation of which marked the first step in a multi-year process that will result in an end-to-end 4K experience.

NWS 100th WALLCAST® concert

NWS celebrates its 100th WALLCAST® concert and new tech core with state-of-the-art 4K servers and infrastructure, funded by the City of Miami Beach’s GoBond program. With this technological update, New World Center becomes the only facility in the world with infrastructure of this scope in place.