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ARCO:$10 mil to Disney Hall

Arco will give $10 million to get the stalled Walt Disney Concert Hall project back on track, the company said Wednesday.

Including Arco’s contribution, money committed for the hall totals about $99 million. But the project, designed by famed architect Frank Gehry, is still about $70 million short.

It’s been a decade since Disney’s widow donated the first $50 million for a music hall named after her husband.

“This gift from Arco is very exciting,” said Diane Disney Miller, daughter of the theme park and animation mogul and his wife, Lillian Disney.

“This was my mother, this was her vision, her personal gift, and we believed in it,” Miller said.

A lecture hall and performance space adjacent to the main arena will be named Arco Hall in recognition of the gift.

“The Disney Hall completion is the cornerstone for the rebuilding of this city,” Arco chairman Mike Bowlin said.

Construction delays and escalating cost estimates — now expected to reach $170 million — led the county to threaten in 1995 to scuttle the project. Instead, the county gave sponsors until June 30 to raise $52 million.

Construction on the Disney complex stopped in 1994 because of massive cost overruns attributed both to bad esti-mates and the complexity of Gehry’s design.

A stumpy parking structure instead of a new culture palace was built before construction was halted three years ago. –

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