An iconic recording studio in Manhattan that was on the verge of extinction got a jolt of power from the city Tuesday.
The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and the city’s Economic Development Corporation said Avatar Studios will reopen with its original name, Power Station Studios, under the ownership of Boston-based Berklee College of Music.
The 33,000-square-foot studio on West 53rd Street in Hell's Kitchen, which was used by artists including Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Lady Gaga, David Bowie and Madonna as well as the cast of “Hamilton,” will be fully renovated and also used for free and tuition-based educational programs, performances and resources, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“Renovating this amazing, historic music venue is a powerful nod to New York City as a continuing center for innovative art, culture, and creativity,” he said.
Tony Bongiovi created and opened the studio in 1977, and named it in honor of its former tenants Con Edison. Hits “Born to Run” and “Like a Virgin" are among those recorded there.
Berklee has pledged an investment of $19 million, according to the city, while MOME and EDC will invest $6 million for the educational programs at the studio, which will be renamed Power Station at BerkleeNYC.
“The Power Station is one of the world’s most iconic recording studios. Preserving it honors New York City’s music scene and all the great artists who have recorded there,” said Berklee trustee Pete Muller, who is spearheading the project.
Construction is planned to begin by the end of the year, and the renovated space is slated to reopen 12-18 months later, according to the city.