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Frick cancels controversial expansion plan

The museum will not build on its Russell Page-design garden, as initially proposed

by Pac Pobric  |  4 June 2015
Frick cancels controversial expansion plan
Russell Page's viewing garden on 70th Street
After a public outcry, the Frick Collection in New York has scuttled its proposal for an expansion that would have meant losing the gallery's Russell Page-designed garden on 70th Street. The plan, which was announced last June, would have resulted in a six-storey, 42,000 sq. ft addition by Davis Brody Bond architects to be built atop Page’s work of landscape architecture. Critics have complained that the courtyard garden, which is normally closed to the public, is a work of art and should not be razed.

The Frick's proposed expansion by Davis Brody Bond

In a statement released today, Ian Wardropper, the Frick’s director, said that “after months of public dialogue and thoughtful consideration and weighing the potential for a protracted approval process against the Frick’s pressing needs, the Board of Trustees has decided to approach the expansion plan in a way that avoids building on the garden site.” He added: “The Frick will immediately begin to develop a new plan that will help us satisfy our critical needs.” A timetable for the new proposal has not been announced.

In May, a group of more than 50 artists, writers and architects and art dealers including Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons and Chuck Close sent a letter to New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and the chair of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, Meenakshi Srinivasan, asking the city to “deny the Frick’s current expansion proposal and urge its leadership to consider the many worthy and reasonable alternatives.”

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