California travel expert Veronica Hill (http://www.CaliforniaTravelExpert.com) and former opera singer Rachel Smith of Rachel’s English ( target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://www.YouTube.com/RachelsEnglish) check out the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles in this episode of “California Travel Tips.”
Located on Bunker Hill in Downtown Los Angeles, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is the permanent home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and part of the LA Music Center. Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the building was commissioned by Lillian Disney in 1987, and opened on October 24, 2003, taking 16 years and $274 million to complete. It’s one of many awesome free things to do in LA!
Rachel and I are joining one of the free daily audio tours, which are offered between 10 and 2. Full guided tours at Walt Disney Concert Hall are available at noon and 1 p.m. on select days (.
Narrated by John Lithgow, the Walt Disney Concert Hall audio tour begins in the lobby, winding past the Concert Hall Cafe and LA Phil Store up to the second level terrace.
As we make our way into the Lecture Hall, Rachel tests out the acoustics. The colorful wildflower pattern found on the carpet, is continued on the seating inside the Concert Hall. Unfortunately the LA Phil’s rehearsal schedule, led by conductor Gustavo Dudamel, is so intensive that you can only see the hall if you buy Walt Disney Concert Hall tickets.
A highlight on the tour is the 3rd level Blue Ribbon Garden. More than 200 Delft porcelain vases and 8,000 tiles were shattered to construct Gehry’s “Rose for Lillian” fountain, a 15-ton sculpture which she dedicated to her husband Walt. Look closely for the unique tiles created by Gehry’s artists.
Used for receptions and private events, the 1-acre rooftop garden is home to 45 trees and a variety of plants that bloom throughout the year. The Walt Disney Concert Hall garden is also home to the Keck Outdoor Children’s Theatre, which hosts family events and sing-alongs.
Be sure you wear good walking shoes for the tour. It ends with a steep climb to the 5th level balcony and aerial pathway, where you’ll see the infrastructure that makes up Gehry’s stainless steel “sails.”
Before you leave, pop into the Concert Hall Cafe for a bite. They serve up hot entrees along with salads, sandwiches, beer and wine.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall address is at 111 South Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles.
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