View Full Version : Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

April 4th, 2004, 11:35 PM
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (http://www.wirednewyork.com/museums/guggenheim/default.htm)

1071 Fifth Avenue
at 89th Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 423-3500

Museum Hours
Saturday-Wednesday 10 AM - 5:45 PM
Friday 10 AM - 8 PM
Closed Thursdays and Christmas Day, open all other holidays

Adults $15
Students and Seniors (65 years +) with valid ID $10
Children under 12 Free
Members Free

http://www.wirednewyork.com/museums/guggenheim/guggenheim_spiral_4apr04.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/museums/guggenheim/default.htm)

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TLOZ Link5
April 4th, 2004, 11:49 PM
Still quite crisp and elegant from the inside. The exterior could use a little work, though; the paint or stucco is peeling in some parts and is dirty in others.

April 8th, 2004, 07:33 PM
It's such an interesting museum. My favourite works were from Picasso and Boccioni. The minimalists were interesting to say the least. I kept wondering if one of them could paint my apartment :D Seriously, it was very cool.

I would say that my favourite piece was Boccioni's Materia. Picasso's Woman Ironing was great as well. The video and computer art was interesting... hmmm, one of my computer crashes could be art!

June 9th, 2004, 09:02 PM
June 10, 2004

Guggenheim Reviving Its Main Asset: Itself


An aerial view from the late 1950's of construction on the Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Guggenheim Museum in New York is showing its age in its cracked facade.

After 45 years the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright's soaring spiral that has become one of Manhattan's greatest tourist attractions, will undergo a major facelift. And while it has good bones, like many Wright buildings the Upper East Side landmark is plagued with cracks, leaks and corroding surfaces.

"The care and preservation of the Frank Lloyd Wright building has been a priority for us," Thomas Krens, the museum's director, said.

Calling it "the most important piece of art in the collection," Peter B. Lewis, a Cleveland-based philanthropist, chairman of the museum's board and a trustee since 1993, has pledged to match trustee gifts three to one for the project.

So far the Guggenheim has raised $20 million from Mr. Lewis and a group of trustees. Museum officials say they need at least $5 million more and are hoping for support from the city and state as well as private donations.

The building on Fifth Avenue at 89th Street will remain open during the restoration, which is expected to take two years. In addition to removing nine coats of paint, right down to the building's structure, to properly fix its cracking surface, the project also includes repairing the sidewalk, with its metallic rings set into concrete. Inside the building, the terrazzo floor in the main rotunda will also be restored, and the climate control and security systems updated.

Since it opened in 1959, drawing huge crowds and controversy because of its design, the building, with its spiraled interior rising 96 feet, has been the primary reason many people go to the Guggenheim. A Gallup poll taken in early 1960 showed that nearly 4 out of every 10 visitors (38 percent) said they came to the Guggenheim specifically for the building; 53 percent said they came to see both the building and the collection, and only 5 percent said they came just for the art.

Today's audiences are much the same, museum officials say. After the Sept. 11 attacks, when tourism to New York plummeted, so did the Guggenheim's attendance. Although it fell more than 50 percent in October 2001, the overall decline in the fourth quarter was only 17 percent.

Museum surveys show that for the 900,000 to 1,000,000 people who visit every year, the building consistently ranked over the art as the reason for visiting. Architecture buffs say the Guggenheim is Wright's most visited building and his only major commission in New York City.

Neither the building's design, which was commissioned by the Guggenheim in 1943, nor its construction, which was completed in 1959, went smoothly. The only builder Wright could find to execute his drawings economically was a man whose expertise was in constructing parking garages and freeways. The building's outer wall was made by spraying layers of gunite (a mixture of sand and cement commonly used to line swimming pools) from within the building, through steel reinforcements, against pieces of plywood that were molded into the building's shape. Every few years the exterior is patched and painted, but the cosmetic touches camouflage far deeper problems.

In extremely cold weather, moisture from the skylights and windows that have not been sufficiently insulated drips down on some interior walls. Long, stuffed tubes of absorbent material, giant sponges that resemble blue sausages (the museum calls them socks), are placed along perimeter floors to absorb condensation. In the rotunda, some socks have been discreetly tucked behind paintings hung on brackets away from the walls. The museum has also had to deal with leaking pipes.

Earlier this year the museum hired Swanke Hayden Connell Architects, a Manhattan firm perhaps best known for restoring the Statue of Liberty, to assess the condition of the building. A feasibility study will be presented to the museum this week. Gwathmey Siegel & Associates, Manhattan architects, has also been consulted. No stranger to the Guggenheim, Gwathmey Siegel renovated the interior of the building in 1992 and added a 10-story tower loosely inspired by Wright's original drawings.

For 16 years under Mr. Krens, the Guggenheim has focused on forging an international network of museums. It now has locations in Venice, Berlin, Las Vegas and Bilbao, Spain, along with partnerships with the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

Mr. Krens has set his sights on building other Guggenheims around the world using world-class architects as part of the attraction, as he did with the Guggenheim Bilbao, by Frank Gehry. In the planning stages is a $130 million museum on Maua Pier in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, by the Paris architect Jean Nouvel. A feasibility study was completed last fall for a Guggenheim Taichung in Taiwan, designed by the Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid.

The New York restoration is the beginning of what the museum hopes will be a larger capital initiative. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which owns the museum, is considering creating new amenities like public access to the rotunda roof. Much like the Metropolitan Museum of Art's popular sculpture roof terrace, the roof of the Guggenheim has stunning views of the city and could be transformed into a sculpture garden.

Also under consideration is converting offices on the ninth floor of the Gwathmey Siegel tower into a restaurant and relocating those offices to SoHo, where the majority of the staff now work. The foundation is also considering reinforcing the Gehry-designed canopy on the museum's fifth floor. (In 2001 the New York City Landmarks Commission gave the museum a six-year permit for the structure, a large stainless steel sculptural form that sits above the museum's sculpture terrace.) Charles Gwathmey said yesterday that in addition to the restoration of the facade, his firm plans to be working on designing these future projects.

Since joining the museum's board 11 years ago, Mr. Lewis has been the institution's biggest donor. This is the fourth major gift he has made to the Guggenheim, bringing his donations to more than $77 million.

The addition of two real estate developers to the board — William Mack, founder and managing partner of Apollo Real Estate Advisers, and Stephen M. Ross, founder and chief executive of the Related Companies — in October has helped provide the expertise for restoring the Wright building. The Guggenheim is expected to begin a capital campaign drive in the fall not only to raise money for the facade but also to create an endowment earmarked for building maintenance.

Before any work begins, however, the plans will be presented to Community Board 8 and will need to be approved by the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

June 14th, 2006, 11:51 AM
Guggenheim Museum

Restoring a Masterpiece

The museum and its galleries remain open during the restoration.


Throughout 2006, visitors to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will pass under scaffolding made necessary by a major restoration of the building’s famed exterior. Although much admired, the innovative concrete structure, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, has been plagued by surface cracks almost since it opened in 1959.

In 2005, some 12 layers of paint applied over the past 46 years were removed and the building’s concrete surface has been revealed, allowing for close analysis of the building’s surface. Detailed monitoring of the movement of selected cracks over an entire year, laser surveys, and other studies will be used by the restoration team to formulate an appropriate methodology to repair the cracks and ensure the building’s long-term health. The repair and repainting is expected to be completed by the end of 2007, in time for the building’s 50th anniversary. The museum is expected to remain open throughout the restoration process.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and its representative, Paratus Group, have retained an extraordinary team, including the leading experts in their fields, to plan and implement the restoration:

Preservation Architect: Wank Adams Slavin Associates, LLP
Structural Engineer: Robert Silman Associates, PC
Mechanical Engineer: Atkinson Koven Feinberg Engineers, LLP
Construction Manager: F.J. Sciame Construction Company
Architectural Conservator: Integrated Conservation Resources
Consultant on Thermal and Moisture Migration: William B. Rose & Associate

The restoration of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is made possible through the generous support of Peter B. Lewis, the Board of Trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and the City of New York under the auspices of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the City Council.

[url=http://www.guggenheim.org/podcasts/2006/GUGGENHEIM_podcast_2006_1.mp3]Download "Exterior Restoration of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building (10 MB, audio only, 8 min 45 sec)" mp3

June 15th, 2006, 01:22 PM
I was privleged to visit The Guggenheim just after it's interior restortion.The show I saw was "The Art of The Motorcycle",a collection of a hundred bikes,from old to new (many of them belonging to Malcom Forbes and Steve McQueen) arrayed along the interior spiral ramp.Side galleries held contemporary art related to bikes and some of the Museum's permanent collections.

It was almost an irony,this show,so far from what one would think a "serious" institution like a Museum would choose to showcase,but it's Creator (a notorious iconoclast ) would have deemed it appropriate,I'm sure.
It looked cool too,seeing all that iron and chrome spiraling downward (or upward,if you think that way)--five floors of mechanized history.
The building sparkled,its lobby and ramps filled with sunlight pouring through the intricate skylight above.Water tinkled in the pond.Compared to what it had been a few years earlier,it looked nice.They were still working on the outside.

I had been to the Guggenheim several times previously and noted how shabby the structure was becoming.For some reason,the panels along the front never have lined up,so from the get-go the building looked haphazard,but now the stucco was falling from the facade like a hard snow and the place looked unkempt,like it was temporary.
I think they even roped off the sidewalk,so much stucco was falling off,and the building was full of cracks and other deterioration--streaked windows,rust runs,leaks.
Oh,and there was a gross growth on the Rose Window,blocking a lot of the interior's light.

I'm a BIG fan of Frank Lloyd Wright's,and was really proud that he would have designed his only New York structure in such an odd,quirky way,so I was dismayed that the Trustees had allowed it to get so gringy.It's really one of the City's true Landmarks.
Wright's design for the Museum totally broke from tradition and showed museums everywhere that Roman or Greek buildings did not have to be their default architecture in order to be taken seriously.Museum-building has never been the same since The Guggenheim landed on Earth.
It is a real diamond on the City's Crown.
Wright also punched a hole in the traditional street "wall" that defines Fifth Avenue and built an organic icon that just jumps out from it's surroundings.I was sort of apprehensive that the setting would become altered when they built the tower to the East,but I've come to accept it.

His concepts were brilliant and many became immediate masterpieces,but they were built to an idea rather than a plan,so they were fragile and had a lot of mistakes designed into them.

Many of his structures were unusable for a while,like the Johnson's Wax Building in Wisconsin.It's "lily pad" roof leaked the first time it rained;the magnificent "Falling Waters" became a shower stall for it's owners as soon as they took occupancy and other of his buildings shifted or required shoring and patching in order to be useful.Most of his commercial structures were very High Maintainence,and many have been allowed to crumble.
Mostly,the design errors involved water,and that was true for the Guggenheim as well.

I am glad that the building has been snatched from the jaws of decrepitude and I hope it never again gets to the state it once was in.

August 1st, 2006, 11:02 AM
July 31, 2006


2003-2006 Gothamist LLC.

September 27th, 2006, 11:05 AM
NY Sun
September 27, 2006

Guggenheim Comes Up With Plans for Restoring Structure

By KATE TAYLOR - Staff Reporter of the Sun

With little fanfare, the Guggenheim Museum has arrived at a plan for restoring its iconic Frank Lloyd Wright building. Scaffolding has been up on the building for more than a year, during which intensive testing was done to determine how extensive a renovation the exterior would need.

There is good news and bad news in the tests' conclusions. The good news is that the numerous cracks in the building's exterior, which the museum worried might necessitate a complete overhaul of the façade, can be filled.

The bad news is that the museum has to replace all of its windows and skylights, which have been plagued with condensation.

Unwanted moisture has been a curse for many of Wright's buildings. The architect's famous indifference to leaks is expressed in a well-known, and probably apocryphal, story: Herbert "Hib" Johnson, for whom Wright designed a huge house called Wingspread, in Wisconsin, is supposed to have telephoned Wright in the middle of a dinner party to complain that a roof leak was dripping right onto his head. "Well, Hib," Wright supposedly responded, "why don't you move your chair?"

The preservation architect for the Guggenheim's restoration, Wank Adams Slavin Associates, also handled the restoration in the 1990's of another of Wright's famous buildings, Fallingwater, in western Pennsylvania. WASA's director of preservation, Pamela Jerome, said that Fallingwater had over 50 chronic leaks, some of them caused by condensation. "There were a million reasons why water was leaking –– most of them his design," she said. "It was a design-based pathology."

Ms. Jerome takes a humorous attitude toward the practical failings of Wright's constructions. "He was a fabulous designer. He was very concerned with aesthetics, less so with the details of making things watertight or structurally sound," she said. "It's up to people like WASA to basically figure out how to make these buildings function better."

The Guggenheim declined to comment on the restoration. The museum will host a presentation by the architects later in the fall, before the actual work begins. The project is expected to cost $28 million, of which city contributed $7 million.

© 2006 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.

September 11th, 2007, 12:45 AM
The Restorers’ Art of the Invisible

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
The Guggenheim, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright,
is undergoing a renovation, with upgrades and updates.

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/10/arts/design/10gugg.html?_r=1&oref=slogin)

September 10, 2007

Visitors wandering through the Richard Pousette-Dart exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum seem oblivious to the scaffolding and hard hats in their midst. But for the people behind the scenes, the work unfolding within the museum’s curved white walls is as engrossing as the art displayed on them.

For the last three years a team of engineers, conservators and architects has been studying the guts of the Guggenheim, mapping out a thorough but respectful renovation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s spiraling building on Fifth Avenue, completed in 1959. Although it was clearly in serious need of renewal, with cracks in its facade, a decaying sidewalk and outdated mechanical systems, experts wanted to make a comprehensive diagnosis before determining the best course of treatment.

Now they have a plan — already in action — and the end is in sight. The work is expected to be completed by summer 2008. “It’s taken us three years to get to the point where we’re actually intervening,” said Pamela Jerome of Wasa Studio, the preservation architect on the project.

And on a recent walk through the museum, which will remain open throughout the renovation, the specialists involved talked about what they had discovered and strategies they have devised. Ms. Jerome has faced major renovation challenges before, including the sagging cantilevers and damaged stucco of Fallingwater, the residence designed by Wright in rural Mill Run, Pa.

But the Guggenheim’s structural complexities, she said, made this project more daunting. In addition to repairing the facade, the $29 million renovation involves upgrading the cooling systems and updating the elevators and bathrooms.

Perhaps the team’s most crucial realization was that workers in the 1950s had failed to provide continuous horizontal steel reinforcement in the walls on the sixth ramp, as they had on the lower ramp walls. The sixth is twice the height of the lower ones and leans outward at a different angle, the museum says.

The original building lacked insulation. In a 1992 project devised by the architect Charles Gwathmey, insulation was finally installed, improving the situation. But some gaps were left on the apron slab, where the floor meets the wall, creating condensation problems that are now being addressed. Strips of carbon fiber are being installed in the concrete walls to create a seamless, protective exterior envelope.

As the work proceeds, the walls’ interiors are exposed, as they must have been when the building was under construction. “It’s the first time we’re seeing what Frank Lloyd Wright saw,” said Glenn Boornazian, president of Integrated Conservation Resources, who is the principal conservator on the project.

Wright is never far from anyone’s mind. Paramount goals are to make the work almost imperceptible and to adhere to the building’s original form to the greatest extent possible.

“From a preservation point of view, you don’t want to change the external appearance,” said Robert Silman, president of Robert Silman Associates, the project’s structural engineers.

When it came to the windows and skylights, then, the specialists wanted to improve them without replacing them. The windows, though, are not double-glazed and don’t provide adequate insulation. So the architects decided to replicate their form but substitute new glass with advanced thermal qualities that has been tested for water and air infiltration. (They have not yet undergone tests for pigeon-proofing, Ms. Jerome said).

Similarly the conservators tried to find repair materials — concrete patching compounds, acrylic crack fillers, expandable surface coatings — that “would be physically and aesthetically compatible,” Mr. Boornazian said. After identifying about 20 manufacturers that deal with concrete restoration, they narrowed the list to six and then subjected their materials to rigorous weather testing.

“Just as Frank Lloyd Wright was on the cutting edge of using materials, he forced us to think of solutions in unusual ways,” Mr. Boornazian said.

Wright was among the first to use gunite — sprayed concrete — on a large architectural scale, which allowed him to create his smooth unbroken curves, Mr. Boornazian said. To give the Guggenheim’s surface a monolithic appearance, he added, Wright left out expansion joints, which would have created visual vertical breaks.

Wright’s professional reputation has emerged intact, experts involved in the project say. The building’s flaws lay in its execution, not its conception. Exposed to high winds and extreme variations in temperature, the walls have continually expanded and contracted. They will still be flexible but will become more resilient, with concealed control joints that allow the gunite to expand and contract without cracking.

As part of its preparatory research the team studied the Guggenheim’s archives, including photographs taken during construction; written documentation of the building process; correspondence between Wright and the contractor; and original architectural and shop drawings.

The building was then stripped of as many as 11 layers of paint, and experts conducted a 17-month survey of thousands of cracks of varying magnitude in the facade. Using impact-echo technology, in which sound waves are sent into the concrete and the rebound is measured, the engineers located voids within the walls.

To map the geometry of the museum and determine its load-bearing capacity, the engineers relied on laser measuring, a fairly tricky matter given the building’s spiral and its sloping walls. “We think it’s the largest laser model ever constructed,” Mr. Silman said. “It took up the whole memory on the computer.”

They also submitted their findings to two peer review panels of experts in architectural restoration, materials conservation, structural engineering as well as an environmental envelope specialist.

“We all believe, when we finish, this building will be better than new,” said Marc H. Steglitz, the museum’s chief operating officer. “And we’ll get another 50 years out of it.”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

September 11th, 2007, 12:48 AM
Copyright 2007The New York Times Company

September 11th, 2007, 12:51 AM
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
The museum has cracks in its facade, a decaying sidewalk

and outdated mechanical systems.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Strips of carbon fiber are being used to reinforce the outer walls.

Copyright 2007The New York Times Company

September 26th, 2007, 10:16 AM
September 26, 2007
Arts, Briefly

Painting Guggenheim Wrights Color


Nearly 50 years after Frank Lloyd Wright chose a paint chip for the color of his beloved Guggenheim Museum, New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission cleared the way yesterday for the correct hue to be applied to the 1959 building. The museum had sought the commission’s permission to paint the exterior in Benjamin Moore HC-35, an egg-finish shade recommended by outside conservation experts. They found it was the closest match to a paint chip that was signed by Wright and stamped July 24, 1958. The commission’s approval is needed because of the Guggenheim’s status as a protected landmark and its location in the Carnegie Hill historic district. Experts say the building’s original coat was supposed to be the darkest of three samples of a color called Cocoon. Instead, the building was coated in the lightest of the three Cocoon samples, with no clear explanation, the landmarks commission said. A thorough analysis of the museum’s finish has revealed as many as 12 coats of paint, including four grayish-white layers applied since 1992; four buff layers applied from the 1960s back to the 1950s; the original light Cocoon; and, finally, the blue primer. According to the analysis, Wright’s intent was always to coat the building in an egg finish. “He apparently hated white,” said Elisabeth de Bourbon, a commission spokeswoman.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

Here it is:


September 26th, 2007, 10:35 AM
That ^^^ will change things up that way ...

Wonder how it will work with the newer tower addition behind ...



October 15th, 2007, 10:20 AM
More on the color ...

A decorating dilemma at Guggenheim Museum

amny.com (http://www.amny.com/news/local/newyork/am-guggenheim-1015,0,7137918.story?page=1&coll=amny_home_rail_headlines)
October 13, 2007

A woman walking her two dogs along Fifth Avenue recently stared up at the Guggenheim Museum and contemplated the paint swatches hanging from the northeast side of the building, high above the street.

The first, a buff yellow, represents the original exterior color chosen by the museum's architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. The second is a sample of the off-white shade that, with slight variations, has been the museum's public face for years.

"The yellow one ... it looks too urine-y," she said, shaking her head. "I think Frank Lloyd Wright probably would have decided to change it to the lighter color eventually anyway."

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is getting a new coat of paint, but this is no ordinary decorating dilemma.

Not when the appearancee of one of America's most distinctive structures and the legacy of one of its most esteemed architects is at stake.

The city's Landmarks Preservation Commission, which must approve changes to the museum's exterior, may settle the question as early as this week.

Warm yellowish beige or cool, grayish white? Or, in the words of Benjamin Moore: Powell Buff or London Fog?

Powell Buff:


London Fog:


But a more complicated set of concerns emerged at a commission hearing last month, with sentiment split between historic preservation groups that favor restoring the building to its original color and neighborhood organizations that support the museum's proposal to keep the building an off-white shade the public is familiar with.

Wright, the historical groups point out, was notoriously picky and disliked white so much that he tried (unsuccessfully) to prevent the museum from painting the interior walls that color.

"This is the most visible work of the greatest American architect," said Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council. "Maybe we should treat it with some more respect."

But museum officials and neighborhood groups argue that the building was buff yellow for only its first five years, and that after four additions, the museum is more than the iconic circular structure designed by Wright.

"I've talked to lots and lots of people and I have yet to find somebody who remembers this building buff yellow," said Pamela Jerome, director of Wanks Adams Slavin Associates, the project's preservation architect. "This is not black and white. It's an extremely complex question, as stupid as that sounds for mere paint."

Still, in some ways, it's a lot like any other paint job -- with a few twists.

Layers of paint

The museum had to strip the facade, although in this case, that meant removing 11 layers of paint and performing scientific analyses on each one, using electron microscopy and infrared spectroscopy.

Officials reviewed paint chips – but these chips are nearly 50 years old and bear Wright's initials on the shade he liked best.

The landmarks commissioners have visited the museum at different times of the day to compare the swatches on the museum's exterior, except that these swatches are actually plywood panels that only can been seen from the Central Park side of Fifth Avenue and 89th Street.

The paint job is part of a $27 million museum refurbishment begun in 2005. The city has authority over such projects since the building was designated a landmark in 1990.

There have been four additions to the museum since it first opened in 1959, the most significant of which was a large tower built in 1992.

Throughout the years, the iconic circular structure designed by Wright also has undergone many paint jobs, slowly evolving from its original color to the off-white shade proposed by the museum today. That color matches the shade the building was painted in 1992.

Their proposal, museum officials say, adheres to philosophy called "progressive authenticity", which suggests that a structure's historical significance evolves over time.

"What we're saying is we don't have a pristine Frank Lloyd Wright building," Jerome told the commissioners last month. " ... do we go back to the original or do we acknowledge the building is a living organism that has been subjected to many changes and alterations."

Debate over intent

At first, no one was quite sure what the original color had been until the paint was stripped from the building. And even now, there is some debate about what Wright's intentions really were.

One local historian insists he has seen an early Wright rendering that showed the museum covered in ivy. A recent article in an academic journal contends that in his very earliest drawings of the museum, circa 1943, Wright conceived of an exterior covered in bright red or orange marble, with verdigris copper banding on the top and bottom.

In March 1958, Wright initialed a paint chip identified as "PV-020", from a new type of paint called "Cocoon" that was considered state-of-art for durability at the time, according to documents in the museum's archives. A few months later, a letter from the museum's clerk of works to the painting contractor indicates that Wright chose the "middle sample" of three that had been applied to a wall of the museum's exterior.

The museum was originally painted the color of that middle sample. But the middle sample and the paint chip Wright signed -- while very close in color -- do not match exactly, according to scientific analysis.

Complicating matters more, Wright did not live to see the museum completed and opened. He died in April 1959. The museum opened that October.

"I'm torn between giving preference to the current custodians of the building ... and giving preference to Frank Lloyd Wright," Landmarks Commission Chairman Robert Tierney said at the hearing, "given we know with certainty what his preference was."

"Frank Lloyd Wright never really saw the original color because he died before it was finished," said Lo van der Valk, president of Carnegie Hill Neighbors, a community group that supports the museum's plan. "We think the museum researched this very thoroughly."

Seri Worden, chairwoman of Friends of the Upper East Side Historic District, thinks New Yorkers should see the museum how Wright envisioned it.

"Let's go back to the real first edition," she said. "If the people of New York don't know what color Frank Lloyd Wright made this building, I think they should know. What other choice is there?"

Copyright © 2007, AM New York

November 21st, 2007, 12:09 PM
AM New York
November 21, 2007

Guggenheim will get to keep new color

By Karla Schuster

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2007.

Photos: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (http://www.amny.com/news/local/ny-nygugg1121-pg,0,2419013.photogallery)

Using 50-year-old paint chips, swatches hung high above Fifth Avenue and complex chemical analyses, the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission settled an Upper East Side decorating dilemma like no other Tuesday, endorsing an off-white color for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

"This debate has been watched by the entire world," said commission member Margery Permutter, before the panel approved the museum's petition to paint the exterior of the iconic circular structure a cool, grayish white. "People in Paris were asking me 'What color is the Guggenheim going to be?'"

The question vexed the museum, neighborhood groups, historians and preservationists for months, with sentiment split between two colors: the off-white shade that has been the public face of the museum for years and a buff yellow color that represents the building's original hue when it opened in 1959.

The museum and neighborhood groups argued for the off-white, saying the building had been that color, with slight variations, for most of its existence. But historical groups pointed out that the museum's famed and famously finicky architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, hated white and had clearly preferred a warmer hue for what is arguably his most well-known work.

The new paint job is the last step of a $27 million refurbishment that began in 2005 and should be completed by next spring, museum officials said.

Before recommending the off-white, the museum stripped 11 coats of paint from the building and performed scientific analyses on each, and dusted off archived paint chips initialed by Wright. It also hung oversized paint swatches on the northeast side of the museum so commission members could compare the two colors at different times of the day.

Museum Director Thomas Krens told the commission that the buff yellow would create a "jarring" contrast with the rest of the neighborhood and could generate "enough controversy about the building that it might not necessarily be an appropriate choice."

Yet even as he recommended the off-white, Krens admitted that it was "a very close call. I have to say that if I were to dial up Frank Lloyd Wright right now and ask him what his preference might be, he might well choose the original color."

But in the end, the commission approved the museum's recommendation by a 7-2 vote, citing conflicting evidence about Wright's intentions, the fact that the architect did not live to see the museum completed and that the building was the original buff color for only its first four years.

"It's really quite ambiguous in terms of what Frank Lloyd Wright originally wanted," said commission member Roberta Brandes Gratz, who voted for off-white. "He was just the kind of character who might have made them change it on sight if he didn't like it once it was finished."

Stephen Byrns, who cast one of the dissenting votes, argued that Wright's preference was clear enough to guide the panel's decision.

"He was the greatest architect in our country and his museum is a masterpiece," Byrns said. "The chemical analysis clearly shows that the original colors were darker. It did get lighter over time. People's tastes change, but I don't think this is a question about people's taste."

Copyright © 2007, Newsday Inc.

November 23rd, 2007, 08:31 AM
They made the right decision. They made the wrong decision.

But they didn't make the Wright decision.

November 23rd, 2007, 09:43 AM
Tough call, but I'd like to have seen the original.

November 23rd, 2007, 09:45 AM
Must be a color photograph of it somewhere.

November 23rd, 2007, 10:53 AM
I searched the web when the story broke. No luck.

November 23rd, 2007, 11:12 AM

November 23rd, 2007, 11:42 AM
^Thanks. Seeing that reinforces my disappointment with LPC's decision. That the Commission's gutless comes as no surprise, but it's a sad day when a museum dedicated to avant-garde works of the last century trembles at the thought of upsetting the dullest of its dull-gray neighbors in one of the City's blandest precincts:
Museum Director Thomas Krens told the commission that the buff yellow would create a "jarring" contrast with the rest of the neighborhood and could generate "enough controversy about the building that it might not necessarily be an appropriate choice."

November 23rd, 2007, 11:47 AM
^ Yeah, and it's not even all that radical.

November 23rd, 2007, 12:31 PM
They should have followed Wright's specs. The warmer color is way better.

December 11th, 2007, 09:14 PM
Guggenheim Light.

February 22nd, 2008, 06:11 AM
Does anyone know whether this is still on target for completion in the Spring? I'm coming over in August and would love to see it finished. Last time I was there in 2006 it was already covered over.

For the record, I would like to have seen it in the original colour. It somehow looks a bit less common, a bit classy.

July 24th, 2008, 08:26 AM
Does anyone have any update on this?

July 24th, 2008, 08:45 AM
I 've been meaning to get up there this week, but it's been too damned hot ...

Scaffolding Dismantled From Guggenheim

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/11/arts/11arts-SCAFFOLDINGD_BRF.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss)
July 11, 2008

Arts, Briefly

Construction workers have begun dismantling the scaffolding that has encased the Guggenheim Museum on the Upper East Side of Manhattan for nearly three years. Restoration architects and mechanical engineers have worked to repair the curving, eggshell exterior of the building, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and celebrates its 50th anniversary this fall.

Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

July 25th, 2008, 02:34 AM
lol my first time to ny i went out late while my friends were being lazy in the hotel. i decided i wanted to go see the guggenheim so i took the subway and hiked a couple blocks (seemed like forever), got bugged by a bum, and finally i found the museum.... covered in black net and scaffold. i was pissed, got a cab, and went to the hotel :P

glad to know its gone now

July 25th, 2008, 03:11 PM
Brilliant! I look forward to seeing it. Thanks for the info.

Looks like we're in for another hot trip then. Was over 100 last time so at least we know we can survive it.

August 25th, 2008, 10:34 AM
Well, I got to see it, although it wasn't quite finished. I always had the impression the surface was smooth so I was surprised to see that blockwork is clearly visible. I guess it only notices when you're close up. Anyway, I'm very pleased to have seen it.



August 25th, 2008, 10:42 AM
Nice photographs.

August 25th, 2008, 12:00 PM
I always had the impression the surface was smooth so I was surprised to see that blockwork is clearly visible.


What you're seeing is not 'blockwork' but 'formwork' impressions.



Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I can tell the original (sans elastomeric paint) exterior surface was created by in situ gunite against formwork. Because it was sprayed onto the backs of the forms and built up, the forms could be lighter weight, and consequently weren't flexed or pressurized by a plastic mix -- hence the 4' x 8' sheetmarks. Given the inverted conic form of the walls, conventional forms and construction would have had to have been massively overbuilt buttressed affairs to hold back the lateral pre-cure forces.

On a related note, chips of the gunite were removed from surface cracks (http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/09/10/arts/0910-cul-GUGGENHEIM.jpg) and made (http://flickr.com/photos/guggenheim_museum/sets/72157605670709657/) into jewelry (http://www.museumlab.org/2008/07/21/guggenheim-museum-offers-the-wright-stuff/) during the restoration.

August 25th, 2008, 12:38 PM
good info ^ ...

but the jewelry is way too fetishistic.

August 25th, 2008, 12:59 PM

May 17th, 2009, 04:49 PM

Architect Without Limits

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/05/14/arts/15wrig_600.JPG Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/o/nicolai_ouroussoff/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: May 14, 2009

Frank Lloyd Wright (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/w/frank_lloyd_wright/index.html?inline=nyt-per) died half a century ago, but people are still fighting over him.


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/05/14/arts/15gugg-190p.jpgInteractive Feature (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/05/14/arts/20090514-guggenheim-pano.html)Inside the Spiral (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/05/14/arts/20090514-guggenheim-pano.html)

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/05/15/arts/15gugg3_500.jpgChester Higgins Jr./The New York Times
The original model of the Guggenheim Museum in the exhibition “Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward.”

Video of the museum HERE (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/arts/design/15wrig.html?pagewanted=1&ref=arts)

The extraordinary scope of his genius, which touched on every aspect of American life, makes him one of the most daunting figures of the 20th century. But to many he is still the vain, megalomaniacal architect, someone who trampled over his clients’ wishes, drained their bank accounts and left them with leaky roofs.

So “Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward,” which opens on Friday at the Guggenheim Museum (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/g/guggenheim_solomon_r_museum/index.html?inline=nyt-org), will be a disappointment to some. The show offers no new insight into his life’s work. Nor is there any real sense of what makes him so controversial. It’s a chaste show, as if the Guggenheim, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, was determined to make Wright fit for civilized company.

The advantage of this low-key approach is that it puts the emphasis back where it belongs: on the work. There are more than 200 drawings, many never exhibited publicly before. More than a dozen scale models, some commissioned for the show, give a strong sense of the lucidity of his designs and the intimate relationship between building and landscape that was such a central theme of his art.

Taken as a whole, the exhibition conveys not only the remarkable scope of his interests, which ranged from affordable housing to reimagining the American city, but also the astonishing cohesiveness of that vision
— an achievement that has been matched by only one or two other architects in the 20th century.

One way to experience the show is as a straightforward tour of Wright’s masterpieces. Organized by Thomas Krens (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/thomas_krens/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and David van der Leer, it is arranged in roughly chronological order, so that you can spiral up through the highlights of his career: the reinvention of the suburban home and the office block, the obsession with car culture, the increasingly outlandish urban projects.

There is a stunning plaster model of the vaultlike interior of Unity Temple, built in Oak Park between 1905 and 1908. Just a bit farther up the ramp, another model painstakingly recreates the Great Workroom of the Johnson Wax Headquarters in Racine, Wis., with its delicate grid of mushroom columns and milky glass ceiling.

Such tightly composed, inward-looking structures contrast with the free-flowing spaces that we tend to associate with Wright’s fantasy of a democratic, agrarian society.

But as always with Wright, the complexity of his approach reveals itself only after you begin to fit the pieces together. For Wright, the singular masterpiece was never enough. His aim was to create a framework for an entire new way of life, one that completely redefined the relationships between individual, family and community. And he pursued it with missionary zeal.

Wright went to extreme lengths to sell his dream of affordable housing for the masses, tirelessly promoting it in magazines.

The second-floor annex shows a small sampling of its various incarnations, including an elaborate model of the Jacobs House (1936-37), its walls and floors pulled apart and suspended from the ceiling on a system of wires and lead weights. One of Wright’s earliest Usonian houses, the one-story Jacobs structure in Madison, Wis., was made of modest wood and brick and organized around a central hearth. Its L-shape layout framed a rectangular lawn, locking it into the landscape, so that the homeowner remained in close touch with the earth.

The ideas Wright explored in such projects were eventually woven into grander urban fantasies, first proposed in Broadacre City and later in The Living City project. In both, Usonian communities were dispersed over an endless matrix of highways and farmland, punctuated by the occasional residential tower.

The subtext of these plans, of course, was Wright’s war with the city. To Wright, the congested neighborhoods of the traditional city were anathema to the spirit of unbridled individual freedom. His alternative, shaped by the car, represented a landscape of endless horizons. Sadly, it was also a model for suburban sprawl.

Wright continued to explore these themes until the end of his life, even as his formal language evolved. A model of the Gordon Strong Automobile Objective and Planetarium captures his growing obsession with the ziggurat and the spiral. A tourist destination that was planned for Sugarloaf Mountain, Md., but never built, the massive concrete structure coiled around a vast planetarium. The project combines his love of cars and his fascination with primitive forms, as if he were striving to weave together the whole continuum of human history.

In his 1957 Plan for Greater Baghdad, Wright went a step further, adapting his ideas to the heart of the ancient city. The plan is centered on a spectacular opera house enclosed beneath a spiraling dome and crowned by a statue of Alladin. Set on an island in the Tigris, the opera house was to be surrounded by tiers of parking and public gardens. A network of roadways extends like tendrils from this base, weaving along the edge of the river and tying the complex to the old city.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/05/14/arts/15gugg5_650.jpgTony Cenicola/The New York Times
A model of Beth Sholom Synagogue in Elkins Park, Pa.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/05/15/arts/15gugg4_650.jpgTony Cenicola/The New York Times
A model of the Gordon Strong Automobile Objective and Planetarium, which was never built.

Just across the river, another ring of parking, almost a mile in diameter, encloses a new campus for Baghdad University.

Wright’s fanciful design was never built, but it demonstrates the degree to which he remained distrustful of urban centers. Stubborn to the end, he saw the car as the city’s salvation rather than its ruin. The cosmopolitan ideal is supplanted by a sprawling suburbia shaded by palms and date trees.

And what of the Guggenheim? Some will continue to see it as an example of Wright’s brazen indifference to the city’s history. With its aloof attitude toward the Manhattan street grid, the building still pushes buttons.

For his part, Wright saw the spiral as a symbol of life and rebirth. The reflecting pool at the bottom of his rotunda represented a seed, part of his vision of an organic architecture that sprouts directly from the earth.

Yet Wright also needed the city to make his vision work. The force of the spiral’s upward thrust gains immeasurably from the grid that presses in on all sides. The ramps, too, can be read as an extension of the street life outside. Coiled tightly around the audience, they replicate the atmosphere of urban intensity that Wright supposedly so abhorred.

Or maybe not. In preparing for the show, the Guggenheim’s curators decided to remove the frosting from a window at the lobby’s southwest corner. The window frames a vista over a low retaining wall toward the corner of 88th Street and Fifth Avenue, where you can see people milling around the exterior of the building. It is the only real view out of the lobby, and it visually locks the building into the streetscape, making the city part of the composition.

I choose to see it as a gesture of love, of a sort, between Wright and the city he claimed to hate.


Copyright 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

June 26th, 2009, 05:49 AM
Streetscapes | The Guggenheim Museum

Fifth Avenue Shocker: The Building Wore Red

By CHRISTOPHER GRAY (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=CHRISTOPHER%20GRAY&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=CHRISTOPHER%20GRAY&inline=nyt-per)





More Photos > (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/06/24/realestate/0628-scapes-slideshow_index.html)

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/w/frank_lloyd_wright/index.html?inline=nyt-per) made his name as an architectural revolutionary, but in the case of the color of his 1959 Guggenheim Museum (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/g/guggenheim_solomon_r_museum/index.html?inline=nyt-org), he started out waving a flag of red, but ended up with PV020 Buff. The 50th anniversary exhibition now on view will surprise anyone who thinks the spiral is the most startling aspect of his design.

Historically, New York’s colors have been red brick and the white and buff of marble, limestone and, in the 1960s, glazed brick. Indeed, we often complain bitterly when someone violates the norm. Thus, the 1962 blue-glazed brick apartment house at Madison Avenue and 65th Street was a target of indignation, as if the ubiquitous white glazed brick was somehow preferable. The building became brown in 2004, ending the argument.

Although most attention focuses on Wright’s shapes, he had a strong sense of color. He wanted the concrete of his 1937 house Fallingwater, in southwestern Pennsylvania, to be gold-leafed, and the Fallingwater Web site, www.fallingwater.org (http://www.fallingwater.org/), describes “his signature Cherokee red.”

Anyone who visits Wright’s Johnson Wax Building in Racine, Wis., comes away with the warm orangey glow of the same color, which is also used for the floors and furniture.

Hilla Rebay was the art adviser to Solomon R. Guggenheim, the mining entrepreneur, and in 1943 she approached Wright to design a museum. Several of the architect’s early proposals are shown in “Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward,” organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and on view at the museum through Aug. 23.

Dating is uncertain for many of the early drawings, but in 1944 Wright proposed a polygonal structure, partly in blue. He also made designs in pink, peach, red and a sort of ivory. These are illustrated both in the exhibition and in Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer’s new book, “Frank Lloyd Wright, Complete Works 1943-1959," published by Taschen and the first of three volumes.

Joan Lukach, in her 1983 book “Hilla Rebay: In Search of the Spirit in Art,” quotes a number of letters between Wright and Rebay. In January 1944, Wright described his choice of color and material as “exterior: red-marble and long-slim pottery red bricks.”

Wright recommended that he make a model “completely furnished and in color — a type of model for which we are famous.” Rebay’s reply was crystal-clear: “Red is a color which displeases S. R. G. as much as it does me,” she wrote in a 1945 letter. She suggested “yellow marble, and if not, green.”

The book says the model was red — “the color of creation,” Wright informed Rebay. He also suggested black marble.

But the usually intransigent architect backed off, perhaps keen on a plum commission in New York City (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/classifieds/realestate/locations/newyork/newyorkcity/manhattan/?inline=nyt-geo). He wrote that any color would be acceptable, and the entire matter dropped away. Had Wright been so accommodating with other clients, his reputation would be quite different.

The book “The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum” accompanies the exhibit, and contains an essay by Gillermo Zuaznabar that says that by 1952 Wright was proposing an exterior of white concrete and polished marble gravel, “a look similar to alabaster.”

But the marble was canceled for budgetary reasons, Zuaznabar writes, and Wright finally specified plain old “PV020 Buff." For an architectural revolutionary, it was a tepid statement; when construction started, the buildings at the flanking north and south corners were the buff of limestone.

By the time of the opening in October 1959, Wright was dead and the color had been changed on the job to a tint of cream and very soft yellow. In the hubbub only a few reviewers mentioned color — it was the spiral that seemed so entrancing.

But in a news story earlier that year, The New York Times quoted Robert Moses (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/robert_moses/index.html?inline=nyt-per) criticizing the Guggenheim’s “jaundiced skin.” And Lewis Mumford, writing in The New Yorker (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/the_new_yorker/index.html?inline=nyt-org), objected to the color’s “congenial mediocrity” calling it “a sort of evaporated-milk ochre.”

The Guggenheim has been repainted several times, and the book accompanying the exhibit includes a color microphotograph of the various layers, going from indeterminate beige or buff to the more recent near-white light gray.

The exterior has been completely renovated, and during review by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/l/landmarks_preservation_commission/index.html?inline=nyt-org) color became a point of discussion.
Preservation groups like the Historic Districts Council (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/h/historic_districts_council/index.html?inline=nyt-org) favored returning to the original darker shade.

But the museum wanted to keep the lighter, brighter color of recent decades. One rationale was that the buff color of the limestone addition of 1992 was chosen to be distinct from the near-white of the museum as it stood at the time.

Another was that the original color disappeared after only a few years. The commission allowed the later color, as it is now, and Wright’s beloved Cherokee red was not seriously considered.


June 26th, 2009, 10:06 AM
Such a great building. Too bad it houses such a lousy museum. Besides the rare worthwhile special exhibit, there is no reason to go there, once you've seen the building inside and out.

August 12th, 2009, 05:48 AM
Guggenheim Museum in New York celebrates its designer, Frank Lloyd Wright

August 12, 2009

By DAVID DILLON / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

NEW YORK – The Guggenheim Museum opened in October 1959, six months after Frank Lloyd Wright's death; half a century later it is still his most controversial building, loved and loathed by curators and critics with equal fervor.

For some, its swirling ramp and shallow alcoves prove how much Wright hated modern art, particularly large abstract paintings that often look straitjacketed in his tight frames. Others find the balletic flow of visitors up and down the ramp, simultaneously aware of where they're going and where they've been, an unforgettable experience.

The Nasher Sculpture Collection never looked better than in its Guggenheim debut in 1997; and Frank Gehry managed to tame Wright's soaring rotunda by draping it in chain-link fencing, as though it were an industrial tent. Clearly, what works at the Guggenheim and what doesn't depends as much on the art and the artist as the space.

The current exhibition, "Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward," won't settle this argument, nor was it meant to. It is the Guggenheim's 50th birthday party, featuring 64 Wright projects – many famous, some not – supplemented by models, photographs, videos and one of the most remarkable collections of architectural drawings ever assembled under one roof.

In the greatest-hits category are the Robie House, the two Taliesins, the earthquake-proof Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Fallingwater, the Johnson Wax building and finally the Guggenheim itself. Among the surprises are the fantastical Gordon Strong Automobile Objective and Planetarium (Henry Ford meets Buck Rogers) and the unbuilt Rogers Lacy Hotel in Dallas, its intricate glass skin and pinwheeling plan looking back to Wright's St. Mark's in the Bowery project of 1929 and forward to glitzy atrium hotels like the Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion. The Kalita Humphreys Theater didn't make the cut, despite opening the same year as the Guggenheim and having obvious family resemblances.

"From Within Outward" offers no new ideas or provocative point of view. It is essentially a wallow – thoroughly enjoyable, completely predictable, yet considering the amount of real estate devoted to it, also a missed opportunity.

The most glaring omission is a serious discussion of Wright's championing of green architecture a century before it became fashionable. Virtually everything that falls under that heading can be found in his philosophy of organic architecture: reverence for the earth and its systems; use of native plants and natural materials; designing for the imperatives of sun, shade, wind and rain, what we now call passive solar design.

He overlooked nothing because, unlike most modernists of his day, he looked to nature rather than the machine for answers. "Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature," he wrote. "It will never fail you." This deserves more than a few passing comments in exhibit labels.

One compensation is the show's celebration of architectural drawing, a lost art in our digital age when design often starts and stops with the computer. For Wright and his contemporaries, drawing was as natural as breathing, an extension of the head and the heart. Today, you'd be pressed to pull together a small dinner party of architects who use drawing as an exploratory tool: Michael Graves, Antoine Predock, Santiago Calatrava, Gehry now and then; it's a short list – and getting shorter.

Drawing is closer to the pace of thought than clicking a mouse. It slows you down and forces you to concentrate on details, as though you were writing a letter in longhand rather than an e-mail. Yet in the weight of a line or the flow of a wash can be read excitement, frustration, surprise and uncertainty. Drawing humanizes design and makes it more immediately accessible to the public for whom it is supposedly intended.

Wright believed in his own genius, but also in architecture's power to make life better for everyone. "If I had another 15 years, I could rebuild the entire country," he proclaimed. "I could change the nation."

What architect would say such a thing today or even think it? More and more, architecture has become a profession of specialties and specialists using the narrowest possible lens. Wright, on the other hand, believed that architecture could change the world. He was an architect of his own time, but usually way ahead of it as well. His only 20th-century rival is Le Corbusier, who reinvented himself half a dozen times over a long career.
But a more telling comparison might be the visionary dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham, who died in July. Like Wright, he made a career out of challenging the status quo, embracing new techniques and new technologies and then fearlessly integrating them into his work so that it was always fresh and brimming with possibilities.

They both died at 90, but never got old.

Through Aug. 23 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave. at 89th Street, New York City. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. Saturdays. $18. 212-423-3500. www.guggenheim.org (http://www.guggenheim.org).

The critic David Dillon is a nationally recognized architecture writer who lives in Amherst, Mass. What we learned:

Wright championed green architecture 100 years before it became the rage.
In addition to the Kalita Humphreys Theater and Gillin House on Rockbrook Drive, he designed a house for Stanley Marcus and the Rogers Lacy Hotel, both unbuilt.
The show's 200 architectural drawings celebrate a lost art.


August 12th, 2009, 12:50 PM
Such a great building. Too bad it houses such a lousy museum. Besides the rare worthwhile special exhibit, there is no reason to go there, once you've seen the building inside and out.
Did you see the motorcycle exhibit? Did you see the Calder exhibit?

August 13th, 2009, 11:00 AM
Yes. They were worthwhile to see. Once.

August 13th, 2009, 11:45 AM
^ Well, how many times do you think you should see a temporary exhibit?

August 17th, 2009, 10:06 AM
^ Well, how many times do you think you should see a temporary exhibit?

The Met regularly puts out blockbuster temporary exhibits that I salivate at seeing more than once (Gates of Paradise, Tiffany/Laurelton Hall, The Van Gogh Drawings - being some blockbuster examples from the past few years). Of course the Met is the Met, so maybe thats unfair?

The only special exhibit I've ever seen at the Guggenheim that had a chance of tempting me, was the Rockwell one (except I pass by two different Rockwell Museums every winter on my way to Vermont).

But forgetting all that - the Guggenheim lives or dies by its special exhibits. Its barely a museum, its really just a space for travelling shows - an upscale version of that Discovery Center location by Times Square that shows Titanic brick-a-brac or whatever crap they can throw together for the tourists.

A real museum (in my mind), has a regular collection thats worth seeing all on its own. A good museum is a museum you would go back to, just to see the regular collection again.

August 17th, 2009, 10:50 AM
Gotta agree with you there ^

The one little gallery (or maybe two or three) where the Gugg rotates its collection is way overshadowed by the great architecture of the rotunda part of the building.

August 17th, 2009, 01:37 PM
Yeah, but isn't it the part really dedicated to art?

August 18th, 2009, 01:44 AM
I really enjoyed their Aztec art exhibit from a few years back. Really something I hadn't seen in other museums. Great show.

August 18th, 2009, 09:45 AM
A real museum (in my mind), has a regular collection thats worth seeing all on its own. A good museum is a museum you would go back to, just to see the regular collection again.

This is just plain wrong. I think a great permanent collection can make a museum better, but to dismiss the Guggenheim simply because it dedicates itself to temporary shows is simply ignorant -- ignorant of the borrowing power the Guggenheim maintains. Precious few museums in the world mount shows with as much consistancy--with real quality and breadth--as this small wonder. It is one of the great art museums in the world and to disagree is to be plain wrong.

As for the architecture, it can be my favorite place to look at art, depending on the artist. The bigger and more colorful the work, the better it looks. The Rosenquist show several years back was one of the most wonderful things I've ever seen. El Greco looks good here as well. Some artists however, are done a slight diservice here--which makes it a wash I think.

August 19th, 2009, 10:34 AM
There is a term for a showcase of temporary exhibits. An Exhibition Hall.

Nonetheless, I have not referred to the Guggenheim as such. It is in fact a museum, with a permanent collection (barely shown), exhibition space (poor for showcasing art but breathtaking none-the-less), and a curatorial team (uneven - for every good-to-great exhibit they put together, there are a dozen nondescript or bad ones). Taken together - I think its a lousy museum - whose showcase work of art is the building itself.

Should a tourist go see it? Definitely. But as a local, once I've seen the soaring space - the permanent collection gives little reason to return. Do they occasionally have a special exhibit worth seeing? Sure - and I do go on occasion. But never for the permanent collection - I've seen regional museums with much smaller collections that show their meager collections better.

Even compared to other spaces that host temporary exhibits, I think they don't do as good a job (anyone else miss the showcase where IBM would host exhibits at twice a year, in the basement of the old IBM building? That curatorial team almost always hit a home run, year in and year out) .

October 22nd, 2009, 06:34 AM
Guggenheim Museum turns 50: Here's 50 facts about New York institution

BY Patrick Huguenin

October 21st 2009

Crowds lined up at the opening of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on October 21, 1959.

One of New York (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+York)'s living legends is turning 50. Today, exactly five decades after it opened its doors, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Guggenheim+Museum) is celebrating its birthday with free admission all day long.

The Fifth Ave. landmark, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Frank+Lloyd+Wright), is one of the most controversial pieces of architecture ever erected in New York and one of the most awe-inspiring. Need another reason to check it out? Try 50.


1. The structure faced harsh criticism when it opened in 1959. One critic dismissed it as "a war between architecture and painting, in which both come out badly maimed." Another called it "an indigestible hot cross bun." NYC (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+York+City) Parks Commissioner Robert Moses (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Robert+Moses) snapped that it looked like "an inverted oatmeal dish."

2. The exterior of the museum is made of gunite, a mixture of sand and cement that is sprayed on the inside of a wood and steel frame, which is later removed.

3. Curator Hilla Rebay, a German baroness, chose the museum's architect. Some theorize that she selected Wright, a renowned American visionary, to pacify critics who accused her of favoring European creative minds over American ones.

4. To design the museum, Wright created more than 700 sketches.

5. The shape of the building is a play on a ziggurat, type of ancient Mesopotamian temple that narrowed as it rose. In Wright's design, the building widens as it rises.

6. Wright wanted the building to have curved surfaces to convey "an atmosphere on the unbroken wave." He was adamant that there be no distractions, not even carpeting or curtains.

7. As for the unusual look of the building, Wright proclaimed, "It's going to make the Metropolitan look like a Protestant barn."

8. Twenty-one artists drew up a petition to complain about Wright's corkscrew-shaped design, fearing that the curved walls and ramp floor would make it impossible to hang their paintings level.

9. The building was named a landmark in 1990, one of the youngest ever to earn the distinction.

10. In 1992, an adjoining rectangular 10-story tower, taller than the original spiral, was added to the museum.

11. During the recent exterior restoration, it was discovered that the museum had first been painted tan and that its light gray color had been added later. After some debate, the restorers stuck with the light gray.

12. Wednesday night, the Empire State Building (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Empire+State+Building) will be lit "Guggenheim red" in celebration of the museum's anniversary. Early on, Wright wanted the museum to be crimson, which he described as "the color of creation." Rebay wrote back, "Red is a color which displeases [founder Solomon Guggenheim (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Solomon+R.+Guggenheim)] as much as it does me."

13. It took $3 million to build Wright's structure. The restoration of the exterior between 2005 and 2008 cost $29 million.

14. In one of Wright's original concepts, visitors to the museum would have been whisked via glass-tube elevator to the top of the building, where they could relax in a garden under a glass dome and then stroll down the ramp to view the art.

15. Neither Guggenheim nor Wright lived to see the building completed. Guggenheim died 10 years before the museum's opening. Wright missed it by six months. (His widow later said he wouldn't have attended anyway because he was offended by minor modifications to the design.)

16. Attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 21, 1959, were the U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Arthur Flemming, United Nations Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Henry+Cabot+Lodge) and New York City Mayor Robert Wagner (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Robert+Wagner).
17. Some 16,000 people visited the museum on opening day.


18. Art collector Guggenheim got his taste in modern paintings from his trusted adviser Rebay - more formally, Baroness Hilla Rebay (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Baroness+Hilla+Rebay) von Ehrenwiesen - who was 29 years his junior. She was his confidante and, according to some, his lover.

19. Before founding the museum, Guggenheim displayed paintings in his eight-room suite at the Plaza Hotel (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Plaza+Hotel). Some Old Masters, the first pieces he had bought, were relegated to his wife's bedroom.

20. Rebay steered Guggenheim toward "nonobjective" art - art that does not depict any physical object. For example, an abstract Picasso (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Pablo+Picasso) painting of a woman is not nonobjective, but the blocks of color on a Mondrian canvas are.

21. An artist herself, Rebay was commissioned to paint a portrait of Guggenheim in 1928. She was paid $9,000.

22. An early version of the museum was housed at 24 E. 54th St., where it was called the Museum of Non-Objective Painting (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Museum+of+Non-Objective+Painting). The gallery featured plush carpeting, burning incense, and a soundtrack of Bach and Chopin. The paintings were hung close to the floor so that they could be viewed by seated visitors.

23. One of the guards at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting was Robert De Niro (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Robert+De+Niro) Sr., father of the movie star.

24. The first show at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting was called "The Art of Tomorrow" and featured paintings by Wassily Kandinsky (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Wassily+Kandinsky) and Rudolf Bauer (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Rudolf+Bauer). Bauer was Rebay's lover.

25. Rebay served as the curator of Guggenheim's collection until shortly after his death, when she was expelled from the board of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Solomon+R.+Guggenheim+Foundation), in part for her "tempestuous" personality.

26. Guggenheim was the fourth of seven brothers.

27. The Guggenheims made their money in mining, and Solomon spent his early career overseeing silver, lead and copper mines owned by his family. In 1906, he went to Alaska (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Alaska) to found the Yukon (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Yukon+Territory) Gold Co.

28. Solomon and his wife, Irene, were known for their opulent lifestyle. In addition to their suite at the Plaza, they had an estate called Trillora Court on Long Island (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Long+Island) where servants wore livery and stood behind the guests' chairs at dinner.

29. Guggenheim left his foundation $10 million. That's the equivalent of more than $70 million today.


30. In 1998, the spiral ramp was turned into a giant parking garage for "The Art of the Motorcycle," an exhibit that displayed 114 classic bikes, including the first motorized bicycle, a Michaux-Perreaux Steam Velocipede from 1868 with wood-rimmed wheels.

31. Last year, an installation by artist Carsten Holler (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Carsten+Holler) titled "Revolving Hotel Room" allowed guests to stay overnight in the museum. The piece included a bed and other furniture mounted on slowly revolving discs. Guests who paid the fee were provided with towels, robes and a continental breakfast. Actress Chloe Sevigny (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Chloe+Sevigny) nabbed the first night's stay.

32. One of Guggenheim's favorite painters was Kandinsky; he bought more than 150 works by the artist. An exhibition of Kandinsky's work is on view at the museum through the end of the year.

33. Guggenheim helped the Russian-Jewish artist Marc Chagall (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Marc+Chagall) flee Europe (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Europe) in 1941.

34. In 2004, director George Lucas (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/George+Lucas) unveiled a new cut of his sci-fi film "THX-1138" at the museum.

35. A photograph of a nude 10-year-old Brooke Shields (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Brooke+Shields), titled "Spiritual America," appeared as part of a 2007 exhibit. This month, an exhibit at Britain (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/United+Kingdom)'s Tate Modern (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tate+Modern) was shut down for including the same photo amid charges of obscenity.

36. Guggenheim's niece, Peggy, was also a collector, and ran a New York gallery. The famous painter Jackson Pollock (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jackson+Pollock) once worked there as a carpenter.

37. Some of Peggy's art collection was installed in her villa in Venice (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Venice), which is now a museum itself.

38. One of Andy Warhol (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Andy+Warhol)'s final works, his series "The Last Supper," was displayed at the Guggenheim's satellite museum in SoHo, which has since closed.

39. Every year, the museum presents works by students in Learning Through Art, a program that sends professional teaching artists into the NYC public elementary schools. The annual exhibit is called "A Year With Children." Last year, approximately 1,500 students in grades 2 through 6 took part.

40. A 1912 watercolor by Chagall was stolen in the 1960s and later sold by an art dealer to New York collectors, who got to keep it after a settlement with the museum.

41. In 2006, Goya's 1778 painting "Children With a Cart" was stolen while en route to the museum for an exhibition of Spanish paintings. It was recovered by the FBI (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Federal+Bureau+of+Investigation) and went on display again in 2007.


42. In the thriller "The International," Clive Owen (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Clive+Owen)'s character takes part in a shootout in the Guggenheim rotunda. To film the scene, a replica of the interior was built to scale in a stage near Berlin (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Berlin).

43. The museum hosts popular parties called Art After Dark on the first Friday of each month, with drinks and dancing late into the night ($25; info at guggenheim.org).

44. The block of East 89th St. that runs by the museum between Fifth and Madison (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Madison) is named Fred Lebow Place after the founder of the New York City Marathon (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+York+City+Marathon).

45. Lego (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/LEGO+Group) recently unveiled a Guggenheim building set.

46. In August, during normal business hours, graffiti artist Mat Benote managed to stick one of his canvases to a wall in the museum, complete with an explanatory blurb. It was removed within minutes.

47. You can wear the museum. Fragments left over from the building's recent overhaul are on sale in a line of jewelry called "Restoration Rocks," released by the Guggenheim.

48. A Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Museo+Guggenheim+Bilbao), Spain (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Spain), was designed by Frank Gehry (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Frank+Gehry) and opened in 1997 to rave reviews. A Guggenheim Museum in Abu Dhabi (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Abu+Dhabi), also designed by Gehry, is in the works.

49. A children's book by A.C. Hollingsworth (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/A.C.+Hollingsworth), entitled "I'd Like the Goo-gen-heim," was reprinted this year.

50. This year, Alicia Keys (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Alicia+Keys) reportedly threw a birthday fete for rapper Swizz Beatz (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Swizz+Beatz) at the museum.


October 26th, 2009, 05:28 AM
New York's Guggenheim Still Turns Heads

Frank Lloyd Wright's Once-Controversial Fifth Avenue Museum Now Considered an Architectural Icon

By Seth Doane

Video (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5420152n)

Beginning 50 years ago this past week, out-of-town art lovers visiting New York have headed straight for the Guggenheim Museum - only to follow a twisting path once they get inside.

Controversial at birth, the museum is now an architectural icon, as CBS News correspondent Seth Doane reports.

Even as the Guggenheim turns 50, it's still turning heads. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/05/18/sunday/main5022235.shtml) famous spiral museum attracts about a million visitors a year.

In 1956, when it began to take shape on New York city's Upper East Side it attracted a lot of criticism.

"New York is usually a follower, not a leader, in stuff like this," said Paul Goldberger, an architecture critic for "The New Yorker." "And suddenly, New York has the most radical building in the world."

Back then, the New York Times called it a "war between architecture and painting in which both came out badly maimed."

Still, Frank Lloyd Wright - who died six months before the museum opened - dismissed critics of his only creation in New York City.

"Someone told me the building on Fifth Avenue looked like a washing machine, but I always discounted it," Wright had said.

And history, it seems, is on his side.

"It was one of the greatest things made in the 20th century. It's one of the greatest museum buildings of all time," Goldberger said. "It's not a small statement, it's a very serious statement - this building is greatest of all time."

Wright's design takes museum goers along a continuous, curving ramp. The space - and the art itself - unfolds in front of you...

Curator Karol Vail says that presents an advantage - and a challenge.

"You have to take the space vertically and horizontally," she said. "You have to be able to visualize the art from all different kinds of perspectives."

It has its quirks, too.

"We had to come up with special devices and contraptions to hang the paintings," Vail said. "So they can in fact hang straight."

Right now, it's Kandisky on the walls. His work is often considered an ideal match for a museum designed to hold abstract and contemporary art.

But a quick visit reveals that the art can almost seem like an afterthought.

"Of course we are delighted if people come look at the building," Vail said. "At the same time you do want them to look at the art."

That's an artistic conflict Wright purposely intended.

The building says that "art and architecture can enter into a dialogue with each other and they can kind of get into the ring and joust with each other and it doesn't mean you are going to lose the art or have it overshadowed," Goldberger said. "In fact, sometimes it can create something more exciting."


September 6th, 2010, 11:08 PM

danielson82 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/36668817@N07/4964539019/sizes/l/in/set-72157624769792705/)

September 7th, 2010, 08:29 AM
You can see evidence of the panels beneath the stucco. Smoother would be better.

October 20th, 2010, 08:23 AM
Frankfurter Lloyd Wright?

Landmarks rejects Guggenheim's application for food kiosk

Alan G. Brake

The proposed kiosk, shown here in a rendering, would have been placed under the famed Lloyd Wright-designed
cantilevered entrance portico, accessible through a service window facing the bookstore.

At a public hearing this afternoon, New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission denied an application by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to build a food kiosk outside the entrance of its Frank Lloyd Wright–designed home on 5th Avenue’s Museum Mile.

Designed by Andre Kikoski Architect, the proposed design called for a teardrop-shaped, double-skinned structure, clad in brushed stainless steel with an outer layer of cast resin panels. During the hearing, museum officials, including the institution’s council and deputy officer for operations, expressed the desire to clean up the area around the museum, which is popular with food and merchandise vendors, as well as capture some of the revenues that go to the vendors. Kikoski described the atmosphere outside the museum derogatorily as “carnival-like” and “cluttered.”

The proposal called for a 12-and-a-half-by-6-foot kiosk with a solid wall facing out to the street. The only opening in the 9-foot-tall structure would face the bookstore, just north of the entrance, and a series of menu stanchions would guide lines around the curved perimeter. The structure would be placed underneath the museum’s cantilevered entrance portico. Kikoski argued that the “diaphanous” effect of the steel and resin skin would differentiate the structure from Wright’s design, while paying subtle homage to his formal language.


A plan of the structure shows its teardrop-shaped profile.

Preservation groups ranging from the Historic Districts Council to the Friends of the Upper East Side to Docomomo all spoke against the project. Speaking on behalf of Docomomo, John Arbuckle warned that the kiosk would disrupt Wright’s famed entry sequence, the feeling of compression upon entering the portico followed by the release of entering the vast rotunda.

The size, location, and permanence of the structure all proved objectionable to the commissioners. “While I admire the design and find the material selection interesting,” said Fred Bland, a commissioner and principal at Beyer Blinder Belle, “at no level can I accept the design. The quality of the museum and particularly the cantilevered entrance would be violated.” Chairman Robert Tierney concurred: “All the standards by which we judge applications are not met in this proposal.”

Kikoski previously designed the eye-catching Wright restaurant inside the museum, as well as a discreet coffee and wine counter within the galleries. Several commissioners suggested that a movable cart, like those of the street vendors lining the sidewalk, would be more appropriate.


October 20th, 2010, 10:34 AM
Silly proposal. The entry way is narrow as it is. Let the hot dog vendors sell from the sidewalks in the grand NYC tradition. If the Gugg needs to make money they should buy a vendors license and set up their own cart away from the entry rather than trash up FLW's building.

October 20th, 2010, 02:17 PM
Here, Here- brilliant idea http://www.octobertoys.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_clap.gif

October 20th, 2010, 02:46 PM
No Hotdogging for the Guggenheim as Snack Bar Gets Skewered (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2010/10/20/no_hotdogging_for_the_guggenheim_as_snack_bar_gets _skewered.php)

Yesterday the LPC trashed the proposal and voted 9-0 to deny the application.


October 21st, 2010, 02:41 AM

October 21st, 2010, 10:53 AM
Nice ^

This video event, part of the Guggenheim's Biennial of Creative Video (http://www.youtube.com/play), takes place tonight, October 21, at the Guggenheim:

Tune in to http://youtube.com/play at 8pm ET (New York) for the full live streamed event! Music, collaborations, art and incredible video. This video is just a taster of the exterior projections, on the facade of the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

YouTube Play: Live from the Guggenheim will celebrate the 25 videos selected by the jury for YouTube Play: A Biennial of Creative video.

8pm ET (New York)
1am (Oct 22) London
2am CET - Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid, Berlin, Rome
4am Moscow
9am Tokyo
11am Sydney

October 22nd, 2010, 06:34 AM
Commission Order to Guggenheim: Hot Dogs, Hold the Kiosk


Word has it that Frank Lloyd Wright enjoyed a hot dog now and then, sometimes served with cheese and pickles at picnics he held on the sandstone bluff near his famous Wisconsin home, Taliesin.

But the Guggenheim Museum considers the hot dog vendors outside its spiraling landmark designed by Wright to be visually disruptive and a drain on revenue that could go to the museum.

So it asked the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission for permission to construct a permanent food kiosk outside its entrance on Fifth Avenue at 89th Street. Its architects envisioned a sleek alternative to all those blue and yellow umbrellas, one that might possibly propel a few carts to seek alternative feeding grounds down the avenue.
But on Tuesday that approval was unanimously denied.

“It detracts from the landmark and causes it to compete with the main building,” Robert B. Tierney, chairman of the commission, said of the proposed kiosk. “All of our standard appropriateness tests are not met here.”

Reaction was muted Wednesday morning among the vendors outside the museum, largely because they had been blissfully unaware that they were anyone’s idea of a design black eye. But Ayman Azer, who parks his hot dog cart there daily, said he certainly did not need additional competition. As it is, he loses $200 a day when an ice cream truck pulls up. “Business comes down,” Mr. Azer, 35, said.

More celebratory were the preservationists and neighborhood advocates who opposed the kiosk as an historic affront and an eyesore. Placing the kiosk so close to the museum “would violate the integrity of this world-renowned building,” said the local chapter of Docomomo, which works to protect modern buildings, in its testimony before the commission.
“It would obstruct the most iconic view of the structure,” the organization added, “and it would adversely alter the experience of entering the building,” in particular the “celebrated sequence from open exterior space through a narrowed entry area into an expansive rotunda.”

Critics also objected on a practical basis, said Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council, an advocacy group, “It looked to me like people coming in and out would run right into the kiosk.”

A tear-shaped structure with a double skin of cast resin and stainless steel, the kiosk was to be positioned underneath the museum’s Fifth Avenue overhang. The museum will now go back to the drawing board to design something temporary and movable.

“Obviously, we’re disappointed,” said Marc Steglitz, the museum’s senior deputy director and chief operating officer. “We did take a fair amount of time and energy to try to design something that was not competing with the building, that complimented the building.”

In its application the museum had argued that the food carts were unsightly and distracting, “creating an inappropriate, carnival-like atmosphere.” Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, an advocacy group, asked in its testimony, “Does the Guggenheim Museum truly intend to eliminate the city-licensed sidewalk vendors with their kiosk?,” adding that “the proposed replacement is more disturbing than the existing carts.”

Though the museum’s application presented the kiosk as a potential cart deterrent, Mr. Steglitz said the museum’s primary interest was not to oust the vendors but to provide an alternative to the Wright, its sit-down restaurant, and Café 3, a European-style snack bar off the Kandinsky gallery. “You don’t want to put people out of business,” he said. “There is a lot of sensitivity for people trying to make a living.”

The kiosk was designed by Andre Kikoski, who also designed the museum’s two eating places. “We have been thoughtful and deliberate in how we’ve approached this work,” Mr. Kikoski said in an interview, adding that the kiosk would have offered higher-quality fare than that of the street carts.

“Hot dogs and potato knishes are great, but they’re hardly the staples of modern dietary habits,” he said. The kiosk, by contrast, he added, would be “more sanitary, as well.”


February 1st, 2013, 06:27 AM
Laugh out loud moment of the day :).

Mad Proposal Would Triple Height Of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum

http://www.architizer.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/140.jpg (http://www.architizer.com/blog/dyn/74281/mad-proposal-w%E2%80%A6genheim-museum/)
All images: Oiio Architecture Office

People hate the new, before accepting it and ultimately—if it’s good and marketable enough—canonizing it. That can be said of modernism’s most iconic buildings, from Mies’s Barcelona Pavilion to Le Corbusier’s chapel at Ronchamp and, our subject at hand, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum in New York. Despite their initial birthing pangs and angsty formative years, these structures have all been warmly accepted in the arms of their respective national cultures. They have been landmarked as immutable treasures, each representative of a “unique moment in architectural history,” so that making any change, however small or radical, to them would be perceived as an inconceivable, even immoral act.

But don’t freak out when you see that lead image. As you might glean from the title, the Guggenheim Extension Story (http://www.oiio.gr/oiio_architecture_office/Guggenheim_extenstion_story.html#1) is not, in fact, a real project. Oiio Architecture Office, the architects behind the tall tale, have no actual plans or ambitions to add thirteen floors to FLW’s Guggenheim Museum. Instead, they conceived of the cheeky scheme as a kind of critique on the preciousness of listed and iconic architectures. “[The] Guggenheim Museum,” they write, “has become so iconic, so emblematic and hermetic in our minds that it can no longer be touched by architects!”

http://www.architizer.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/231.jpg (http://www.architizer.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/231.jpg)

The ironclad laws of heritage and preservation would even have prevented Wright himself—resurrected from grave—to make any modifications to his own building, the designers claim. “Even if its own creator were to propose an alternation of its form, New Yorkers would suddenly feel as if they have lost a dear old friend.” While the design merits of the “proposal” are interesting enough, it’s the project’s snark that proves the more appealing and effective. Also, just look at that section…

http://www.architizer.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/323.jpg (http://www.architizer.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/323.jpg)
ExtenZ for architecture?
http://www.architizer.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/4.gif (http://www.architizer.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/4.gif)

[via dezeen (http://www.dezeen.com/2013/01/28/guggenheim-extension-story-by-oiio-architecture-office/)]