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Carnegie Hall tenant wants to stay

October 20, 2008 3:07:13 PM PDT
A 96-year-old woman who has lived above Carnegie Hall since 1949 does not want to move. Editta Sherman tells Eyewitness News she raised her five children in the 800-squre-foot studio, and does not want to leave despite the building trying to push her out.

Sherman is one of six tenants still iving in the two towers above the hall.

Sherman has photographed some of the most famous musicians, actors and entertainers of the 20th century.

Carnegie Hall gave the following statement: "Carnegie Hall has long outgrown the space needed to support its programs. The Studio Tower renovations will modernize backstage areas and add new spaces for Carnegie Hall's education programs that currently serve more than 115,000 people each year. We're sensitive to what these changes mean to our rent controlled subtenants. We're committed to working with them to ease their transition, including relocating them to equivalent or superior apartments in the neighborhood, paying any differential in rent for the remainder of their lives."

Carnegie Hall won a lawsuit that forced more than 30 tenants to leave by last March - to make way for a $150 million overhaul of the towers into arts education and rehearsal space.

The towers were built by Andrew Carnegie in the 1890s to house musicians and artists while bringing in extra money for the hall.

Since then, acting, dance and music coaches and students have lived and worked in the Carnegie studios, from Marlon Brando, Leonard Bernstein and Lucille Ball to Marilyn Monroe, Isadora Duncan and Denzel Washington.

Carnegie Hall officials say they've promised to relocate the remaining residents to equivalent or superior apartments in the neighborhood, paying any differential in rent as long as they live.

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