Louis Kahn's floating concert hall, Point Counterpoint II, is facing demolition, and Yo-Yo Ma wants it saved
Louis Kahn was commissioned to design Point Counterpoint II, a unique floating concert hall, by conductor Robert Austin Boudreau in the mid 1960s. Launched in 1976, the 195-foot structure carried an orchestra up and down America's waterways for five decades. Robert Boudreau and his wife, Kathleen, have recently decided that they cannot keep running the barge. At the conclusion of the Orchestra's 2017 tour, it will be broken down to scrap in a Louisiana shipyard—despite the owner's best efforts to find a new guardian for the unique, mobile cultural institution.1
- In response to: A Mystic Monumentality from the June 22, 2017 issue
While Point Counterpoint II might lack the solidity and repose that Martin Filler so eloquently attributes to Kahn’s buildings, it is no less monumental: it sails as a powerful, living testament to American creativity and to the elemental role that culture plays in human life.
After five decades, Robert Boudreau (who just turned ninety) and his wife, Kathleen, have decided that they cannot keep running the barge. Despite their best efforts, they have not yet found a new guardian for it. Lacking an alternative, in late July, at the conclusion of the Orchestra’s 2017 tour, this remarkable, mobile cultural institution will be broken down to scrap in a Louisiana shipyard.
At a time when our national conversation is so often focused on division, we can ill afford to condemn to the scrap heap such a vibrant ambassador for our national unity, so I humbly ask that your readers join Robert and me in finding a new home for Point Counterpoint II. Please share any suggestions with Robert and Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org.