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Rendering of the Ronald O. Perelman Center for the Performing Arts at the World Trade Center in New York. Photo: REX Architecture.
Rendering of the Ronald O. Perelman Center for the Performing Arts at the World Trade Center in New York. Photo: REX Architecture.

Leslie Koch Named President of World Trade Center’s Performing Arts Complex

The new Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center, which is being built as part of a plan for the World Trade Center site in downtown Manhattan, announced today that Leslie Koch has been appointed president. She succeeds Maggie Boepple, who has worked on the project since 2012 and will continue to serve as an adviser. Designed by REX, the building—a 138-foot-tall cube with a glowing marble facade—will host theater, dance, music, and chamber opera.

Koch is best known for her ten-year tenure as president and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. Under her leadership, Governors Island, the home of an abandoned military base, was transformed into a new public space, comprising a park and several exhibition spaces and cultural heritage sites, and visitation grew from eight thousand people per season to more than six hundred thousand.

“Leslie is an outstanding choice to help lead this iconic arts and cultural center into the future,” said businessman Ronald O. Perelman, who donated $75 million in support of the project in 2016. “The possibilities and potential of the Performing Arts Center are limitless. I am extraordinarily proud of what we have accomplished so far and excited for what is yet to come. I look forward to working with Leslie, [artistic director Bill Rauch], and the entire team to help bring this center to life as a premier destination for art and culture in the community, the city, and the world.”

Earlier this year, the center celebrated its first milestone: The gigantic steel beams that will support the 17,000-ton building were installed at the site. Conceived as part of Daniel Libeskind’s 2003 master plan to rebuild the sixteen-acre World Trade Center site, the center will sit on top of the Port Authority of New York and the New Jersey Calatrava Transit Hub and vehicle helix structure.

Commenting on her appointment, Koch said: “I am honored to join the Perelman and work in partnership with Bill Rauch. Bill and I share the belief that the arts are what bring us together as a people. This beautiful building will welcome artists and audiences from everywhere. It is my privilege to work with Bill, the board of directors, and the Perelman staff and team to bring the longstanding vision for culture at Ground Zero to life.”