Civic centers such as Lincoln Center relate to the city around them because they provide gathering spaces where they intend to, as an urban core, connect people from the surrounding suburbs.
In the case of Lincoln Center, a chunk of land previously known as San Juan Hill was demolished ousting thousands of families from their homes to create the famously renowned cultural center that is Lincoln Center. It unites several buildings such as the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic and the New York City Ballet, which turns Lincoln Center into a concentration of prestigious cultural venues. Although there is a lot happening within the buildings in Lincoln Center, the great amount of open space left between those buildings offers plazas that come alive during different times of the day and are open for the public’s enjoyment. Walking into Lincoln Center via Columbus Avenue, right away you encounter Josie Robertson Plaza where a grand water fountain is situated directly in the middle providing an area to sit encircling the fountain. If you were to walk into Lincoln Center via W 65th street, you’d encounter the Hearst Plaza consisting of a reflection pool and a raised lawn area.
Although the area that is Lincoln Center has been elaborately designed and laid out, the institutions that surround the center seem to almost discretely hide the prodigious plazas created for the pleasure of the public. I only say this because of how the buildings are positioned to face. With this arrangement it does reach its goal to connect people however, it almost creates a sort of island fenced up by these performing-arts institutions.