Encore, Encore

Nearly 70, Radio City Music Hall, a monument of modern design, dresses up again in the high style of its youth

It was, wrote Walter Lippmann a few days after Radio City Music Hall opened its doors in 1932, "a pedestal built to sustain a peanut." Describing the entire Rockefeller Center complex in which the Music Hall sat, Lewis Mumford called it "the sorriest failure of imagination and intelligence in modern American architecture." And they were among the kinder critics.

Come the Music Hall's "gala reopening" on Oct. 4, the people who operate the place--Cablevision Systems, through its Madison Square Garden subsidiary--will be hoping that today's judges will be a bit less cranky. After a seven-month restoration that stripped it to its...

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