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Thread: Whitney Museum of American Art expansion - by Renzo Piano

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    Default Whitney Museum of American Art expansion - by Renzo Piano

    June 16, 2004

    Whitney Hires Renzo Piano to Design Its Expansion

    By CAROL VOGEL


    The Whitney wants its expansion to be no higher than its old space.

    The Italian architect Renzo Piano has been hired by the Whitney Museum of American Art to design an expansion for its permanent collection and for much-needed public and educational space. The decision was made at a special board meeting yesterday after a six-month search by the Whitney's architect selection committee.

    Mr. Piano's plan is far more modest in size and scale than the ambitious $200 million proposal of the Rotterdam architect Rem Koolhaas, which the board abandoned last year, saying it would have been too expensive both to build and to operate. Most important, museum officials said, they hope the design will not have a roofline higher than the Whitney's existing home, the 1966 cantilevered granite fortress designed by Marcel Breuer on Madison Avenue at 75th Street.

    "We knew we needed to hire an architect who could get a museum building built," said Melva Bucksbaum, who headed the selection committee. "We didn't feel we needed a destination building that would compete with the Breuer building. The Whitney already is a destination. Renzo saw the limitations and was interested in using them, not fighting them."

    In a telephone interview Mr. Piano said he would not promise that his extension would not be higher than the existing museum. He added that while "it won't compete with the Breuer building, it will have character." He said it was far too early to say what the extension would look like, but the galleries for the museum's permanent collection would be flexible. "Great American art needs the idea of uninterrupted spaces like a loft, which itself is something very American," he said.

    While the budget for the project has not been set, Mr. Piano has a specific footprint in which to build. In the late 1960's, 70's and 80's the Whitney bought five brownstones on Madison Avenue and two town houses behind the museum on East 74th Street. Because the neighborhood is in a landmark district and four of the five brownstones, two of which were merged years ago, are original 1890's buildings, they cannot be demolished. Instead Mr. Piano will use the two town houses and space behind the brownstones. The museum will have to submit its plans to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission for approval.

    "It's not impossible," said Mr. Piano, whose other projects include a new West Harlem campus for Columbia University and the 52-story tower to be built by The New York Times Company and Forest City Ratner Companies at Eighth Avenue and 40th Street. "It's not immense space, but there's enough there." As in his $100 million expansion and renovation for the Morgan Library, Mr. Piano envisions using space underground. He says he believes there is enough space there for additional galleries, a 300-seat auditorium, a bookshop, a library and offices.

    Several architects have tackled the Whitney site. For decades neighbors and civic groups have opposed various expansion plans for the museum. In 1985 a $37.5 million, 134,000-square-foot postmodern design by the architect Michael Graves brought so much criticism that the Whitney scrapped the project. It would have greatly altered the facade.

    Since then it has proceeded cautiously. Six years ago it expanded from within, gaining 30 percent more exhibition space by moving its library, archives and offices from the fifth floor of the Breuer building to an adjoining brownstone at 31-33 East 74th Street. Mr. Koolhaas's project went through several phases. First he envisioned an 11-story addition behind the brownstones, but that was scaled back to a 9-story building.

    Mr. Piano likes a design challenge and has had considerable experience designing museums, including the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Menil Collection in Houston and the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. Among his current museum projects are the Morgan Library and a 220,000-square-foot wing at the Art Institute of Chicago.

    The artist Chuck Close, who is on the Whitney's board and was on the selection committee, said Mr. Piano's experience was an asset. Mr. Close said that during interviews each candidate architect was asked which other architect designed the best museums.

    "Everyone either said Louis Kahn or Renzo Piano," Mr. Close said. But perhaps what Mr. Close liked the most about Mr. Piano's ideas was his intention to use natural light in some galleries. "He talked about city light," Mr. Close said, "and what a difference that would make seeing art."

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company


    www.whitney.org

    www.renzopiano.com

    Whitney Scraps Expansion Plans (Rem Koolhaas)

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    The Italian architect Renzo Piano has been hired by the Whitney Museum of American Art to design an expansion for its permanent collection and for much-needed public and educational space.
    This sounds cool. I am sure Renzo Piano is a good choice. He is been famous for his other museums projects.

    I just hope that this the final decision by the Whitney Museum committee. They tend to scrap other options.

    "We knew we needed to hire an architect who could get a museum building built," said Melva Bucksbaum, who headed the selection committee. "We didn't feel we needed a destination building that would compete with the Breuer building. The Whitney already is a destination.
    Well said.

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    Hmmm... Wall St. money plus architect known for museums plus a guy who just designed a building within landmarked buildings...sounds like a plan.

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    With a strict budget and building envelope, it doesn't sound too promising or exciting.

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    Piano is a great choice. He has the sensibility to design something really interesting without being outrageous in comparison with the Breuer masterpiece (a thing M.Graves didn't do in his 1985 project).

  6. #6

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    The Whitney announces major expansion—again

    Last year trustees scrapped an expansion designed by Rem Koolhaas. Now they are pinning their hopes on Renzo Piano

    By Jason Edward Kaufman



    On 15 June, the trustees of the Whitney Museum of American Art hired architect Renzo Piano to design an expansion for the institution on Madison Avenue. Details will not be finalised until later this year but the architect’s remit, broadly, is to add up to 70,000 square feet of space to house permanent displays, galleries for temporary exhibitions, an auditorium, facilities for visitors, and offices.

    According to museum director Adam Weinberg a study will be completed in the next five months. This will examine the options for moving a part of the museum’s operations elsewhere to free up more space for art. The result will likely be at least one Manhattan annex for exhibitions and the Independent Study Program, and another to consolidate art storage, currently distributed among several warehouses, perhaps with a study centre and conservation laboratory attached. The Whitney already operates a midtown branch sponsored by the Altria Corporation, but Mr Weinberg says he is not interested in more corporate spaces.

    In the last 20 years, the Whitney has repeatedly faltered in attempts to expand the five-storey granite building designed by Marcel Breuer in 1966. In the 1980s, the community derailed a massive postmodern addition by Michael Graves, and last year, the trustees themselves quashed an even more hulking proposal by Rem Koolhaas that would have cost more than they were willing to raise.

    In between those abortive efforts, architect Richard Gluckman converted the fifth floor into galleries and relocated offices and the library to the brownstones contiguous to the institution which belong to the museum. But with only 2% of its 14,000-work collection on view, and no proper centre in which to study works on paper—roughly two thirds of the collection—the museum inevitably returned to the drawing board.

    In January the trustees hired architecture consultant Reed Kroloff (now dean of Tulane University School of Architecture) to help compile a list of around 50 architects. An architecture selection committee chaired by trustee Melva Bucksbaum narrowed the field to a shortlist of 12 and interviewed the candidates in March and April. They included Herzog & De Meuron, David Chipperfield, Todd Williams Billie Tsien & Associates, Mr Gluckman, and a number of younger firms. But the board opted for Mr Piano, a Pritzker Prize winner who is currently the architect of choice for American museums. The Whitney board was so sure of their choice that when Piano refused to participate in a competition, they cancelled it and handed him the job anyway.

    They were looking for function, not flash, Mr Weinberg explains, noting that “First and foremost is not the spectacle of the museum, but the spectacle of the art.” Artist Chuck Close, another trustee who served on the architecture selection, strongly supports the choice, noting that “Renzo Piano creates spaces that allow works of art to live and breathe.”

    Mr Piano’s Whitney extension will be immediately south of the Breuer building, and will incorporate the row of five 19th-century brownstones and two contiguous townhouses on East 74th Street, all of which belong to the museum. Four of the storefront brownstones are landmarked and, by law, must be preserved, but Mr Piano says the one adjacent to the Breuer building will be demolished to create a mid-block entrance and skylit lobby for the expanded museum. The other brownstones will likely house retail at street level, curatorial offices above, and a restaurant terrace on top overlooking Madison Avenue, the architect says. Behind the brownstones, Mr Piano’s new building will contain larger, naturally lit galleries for the postwar collection or temporary shows. This addition will connect on each level with the floors of the Breuer building, creating an integrated experience for the visitor. To maximize the available space for the extension, at least one of the two dilapidated townhouses on 74th Street will be demolished. “Also, I’d like to try to put a little garden on the east part of the site, so you can see light when you enter the new building from Madison Avenue. This will give it more depth and transparency,” says Mr Piano.

    Sensitive to resistance from neighbours and the Landmarks Commission to earlier proposed expansions, Mr Weinberg vows to create a building that “fits comfortably within the fabric of the community and within the building envelope of the property next to the museum.” It will respect the character of the Breuer building and preserve the brownstones’ facades. To reduce the mass and height of the addition, Mr Piano plans to place the auditorium and other functions below ground. “I love the Breuer building,” Mr Piano says. “It has a very strong presence, and the new one won’t be in competition with it,” he says. Mr Weinberg says a capital campaign will raise funds for the building, off-site facilities and storage, and endowment. Whitney chairman Leonard Lauder, the billionaire head of the cosmetic company Esteé Lauder, is expected to play the lead role.

    The Art Newspaper © 2004

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    With all the false starts, this annoucement is anti-climatic.

  8. #8

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    November 9, 2004

    ARCHITECTURE REVIEW

    Whitney's New Plan: A Respectful Approach

    By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF


    Renzo Piano's drawing of an addition to the Whitney Museum of American Art, as viewed from Madison Avenue with the current building on the left.


    The Renzo Piano model of an addition to the Whitney Museum of American Art.

    The Whitney Museum of American Art's on-again, off-again expansion plan has been lurching along for more than two decades now. In that time, the museum has gone through four directors and flirted with ill-fated designs ranging from the bold to the grotesque. The worst, a 1985 proposal by Michael Graves, would have smothered the existing building in a pastiche of pseudoclassical references. A more promising proposal by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas was dropped a year and a half ago amid post-9/11 uncertainty and a growing sense that the design was inappropriately aggressive. To many, it seemed as if the museum had simply lost its nerve.

    Now the Whitney is trying a gentler approach. A new design by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, approved last week by the museum's board, is conceived as a stoical nine-story tower that would rise alongside the existing 1966 landmark. The tower's simple form and silvery copper-and-aluminum-alloy skin would be a dignified counterpoint to Marcel Breuer's brutal dark granite masterpiece. Respectful of its context, the proposal is about incremental progress, not radical change.

    The design, which would double the size of the museum, is still in its earliest stages; the Whitney plans to present a refined version to the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission in January. The aim clearly is to placate the preservationists and community leaders who have stymied the Whitney's expansion plans in the past.

    Such humility may seem laudable. Who doesn't want to preserve the city's architectural legacy? But great design is never cautious; it cannot arise amid a climate of fear. The risk is that the building will ultimately be too subdued, as if it is trying too hard to fit in. If the city is to get the full benefit of Mr. Piano's talent, the Whitney will have to grant him the freedom to follow his ideas, wherever they lead.

    The design starts confidently enough. Breuer's Whitney, with its inverted ziggurat-shaped facade and moatlike sculpture garden, is a portrait of monastic seclusion. Mr. Piano seeks to open the museum up to the surrounding street life by demolishing two town houses just to the south on Madison Avenue and replacing them with a glass-covered entry vestibule and a small garden. From here visitors will slip under the cantilevered corner of the new building before turning into a new lobby and cafe area. The addition rises above this space behind the remaining brownstones on Madison.

    Mr. Piano, whose New York projects also include additions to the Pierpont Morgan Library and a new headquarters for The New York Times, has always brought a remarkable sense of clarity to his work. The son of a Genovese builder, he is a master of structural detail, which in his hands typically has a clean modern sensibility. But his urban approach is also classically humanist, a combination that has made him a favorite of museum curators. Entering the Whitney would be a little like arriving at a medieval piazza, with the gradual transition from the narrow alleylike vestibule to the vast lobby yielding an explosive sense of relief. Like a piazza, the lobby will also function as a public gathering place, an acknowledgement of the museum's expanding role in the city's social fabric.

    To extend that sense of communal energy, Mr. Piano creates a 10-foot slot between the addition and the old building bridged by a series of glass walkways that connect the old and new galleries. Suspended between the massive forms of the two buildings, the crystalline bridges - bathed in light and swarming with people - will vibrate with energy.

    The galleries, by contrast, are intentionally more tranquil. Most are essentially an updated version of the existing galleries: large flexible loftlike spaces that should be ideal for displaying the Whitney's modern collection. The most promising are the top-floor temporary exhibition spaces, where Mr. Piano is able to experiment with the flow of natural light. He is famous for such spaces: in his 1986 Menil Collection building in Houston, a system of exquisite winglike louvers are used to filter a soft, natural light down into the galleries. The louvers cast a subtle shadow on the upper portion of the gallery walls, but the light evens out as it reaches the paintings. You retain a faint awareness of the world outside, which makes the paintings feel particularly alive.

    Here a grid of aluminum panels pierced by small eye-shaped apertures will permanently block the harshest southern light; a second system of mechanical louvers will allow curators to regulate the remaining light as it flows into the gallery. The entire apparatus rests atop a six-foot-deep steelframe that is hidden by a final layer of translucent fabric panels. The light could be beautiful; it's hard to quibble with Mr. Piano's skill in this regard. But the fabric panels could also be overkill. They are there to hide the structure, which curators feel may distract viewers from the art, but they may also mask the design's beauty.

    The biggest problems, however, arise when you sense that Mr. Piano is deferring to Breuer - for example, with the aluminum-and-copper-alloy panels that would clad the addition. Mr. Piano compares the panels' silvery overlapping forms to textured fish scales that are meant to play off the smooth, polished granite panels of Breuer's façade. But the contrast doesn't feel strong enough. Because the panels are roughly of the same size and proportions as Breuer's, they risk making the addition look like a towering shingle-style barn.

    Another issue is how you enter the museum. In creating his new entry point, Mr. Piano has made Breuer's existing entry bridge over the Whitney's sculpture court somewhat redundant. In truth, the bridge has never worked. Its heavy concrete form casts a dark shadow across the court below, making it an oppressive place to view sculpture; its concrete canopy blocks the view from the bridge to the main facade so that you never feel the full force of its weight.

    Mr. Piano has toyed with the idea of tearing out the bridge and replacing it with a narrower lightweight structure. The solution - an obvious one - would help shift the focus to the new entry and open up the glorious view to Breuer's facade. It would also go a long way in tying the two buildings together into a cohesive composition. But so far the museum's board has refused to even discuss the idea for fear of incurring the wrath of preservationists.

    In struggling with such decisions, the museum may want to draw inspiration from its own past experiences. Breuer's building is no shrinking flower. The building's aggressive forms capture the museum's ethos as a place for creative expression - it acknowledges that most new ideas are by nature impolite. In its time, it was also a slap, conscious or not, against the confining traditions of polite Upper East Side society.

    It was that sense of irreverence that Mr. Koolhaas sought to tap into. His design - a bold composition of faceted concrete forms that loomed over the Whitney as if it were about to devour it - was brash, playful and bizarre. It was too much for the Whitney to swallow.

    Mr. Piano is more cautious by nature, but his work, at its best, has a wonderfully human quality. To stand up to Breuer, he will have to show a bit more bravado. He should respect the past, but he should challenge it, too.


    Rem Koolhaas' proposal for the Whitney Museum expansion.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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    Dull, just like the Whitney's board of directors...

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedFerrari360f1
    Dull, just like the Whitney's board of directors...
    Agreed. Koolhaas's design relates better to the original Whitney. Too bad that practically all of Koolhaas's proposals get shafted.
    Last edited by TLOZ Link5; February 6th, 2005 at 05:06 PM.

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    February 2, 2005

    Fierce Battle Over Plan to Expand The Whitney

    By ROBIN POGREBIN


    The Whitney as it is today.

    n expansion plan for the Whitney Museum of American Art ran into fierce opposition yesterday from neighborhood residents and preservation groups at a public hearing, with the angriest objections focusing on a move to demolish two brownstones next to the museum on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

    A well-organized contingent of artists, architects and museum directors who support the expansion, designed by the architect Renzo Piano, countered their arguments. Among them were the painter Chuck Close, the sculptor Mark di Suvero, architects like Maya Lin, and museum directors including Philippe de Montebello of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Glenn D. Lowry of the Museum of Modern Art.

    Gary Chinn, a 25-year resident of a brownstone at 34 East 75th Street, said the Whitney could not "be allowed to run roughshod over the character of the neighborhood that it chose to be part of with its demolition."

    The hearing, which was moved from the commission's headquarters to Pace University to accommodate the approximately 200 who attended, was required because the two 1876 brownstone buildings that would be razed lie within the Upper East Side Historic District. One of those brownstones is a so-called contributing building: one that has been deemed of artistic, historic or cultural importance.

    The Landmarks Commission has never issued a "certificate of appropriateness" allowing the demolition of a contributing brownstone in a historic district.

    Those supporting the expansion plan argued that the Piano proposal would not necessarily set a precedent, because the Landmarks Commission rules on a case-by-case basis. They also commended Mr. Piano for preserving the three other remaining brownstones on Madison Avenue in his plan and for respecting the pink granite Marcel Breuer building that has been the Whitney's home since 1966.

    Mr. Piano's design includes a 172-foot tower that would rise behind the row of brownstones on Madison Avenue and connect to the Breuer building with a series of glass bridges. Replacing the demolished brownstones would be a new main entrance, 32 feet wide, leading to a public piazza; the current Breuer entrance would be used by school groups and as a point of access to the bookstore.

    Speaking in support of the plan, Mr. Close, a Whitney board trustee, said, "The artists are the ultimate clients of the architecture."

    He said that Mr. Piano designed "buildings that artists want to be shown in."

    "His use of natural light," he continued, "makes the visitor experience one of serene joy."

    But Lisa Kersavage, a member of the Municipal Art Society's preservation committee, said Mr. Piano should revise the design to preserve the brownstones.

    "The Whitney has not yet crossed the threshold in their argument for demolition of the contributing building, based on appropriateness," she said. "We are confident that this very talented architect could develop a very satisfactory solution that both retains the contributing buildings and provides for the museum's programmatic needs."

    And Robert Lang, the director of community programs and services at the Landmarks Conservancy, argued that granting the Whitney's request would set "an adverse precedent."

    The American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, while supporting the addition in principle, raised questions about preservation issues. In prepared comments read into the record yesterday, it asked the Landmarks Commission to require that "an alternatives study be prepared and presented to the commission that would illustrate the options available to the museum other than complete demolition."

    The museum said it needed more space to display its collection (which has grown to 16,000 works from 2,000 over the last four decades), to manage visitors moving through its cramped lobby (now 577,000 a year) and to accommodate education programs. (It has no auditorium or classrooms.) The museum had previously selected and then rejected two other architectural expansion plans, one by Michael Graves and another by Rem Koolhaas.

    Calling his building "a little tower," Mr. Piano pointed out at the hearing that his plan would add just 35 percent more space to the current museum. "Two things I love and respect" are the Breuer building and the brownstones, he said. "The idea is just to find the right balance."

    Hamilton Smith, Breuer's associate architect on the Whitney, also testified in support of the Piano plan. "Mr. Piano's design concept neither engulfs nor overshadows the original Breuer building," he said.

    Flora Miller Biddle, the granddaughter of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who founded the museum, also offered support for the expansion. "It's elegant, it's modest," she said. "I can imagine how happy my mother and my grandmother would be to see it."

    Several neighborhood residents seemed distressed that the landmarks commission would even consider the demolition. "If Landmarks permits the Whitney's expansion, where will it end?" said Edward Klimerman, the president of the co-op board at 14 East 75th Street. "Everyone should be obligated to follow the rules."

    Calvert Moore, another resident, suggested yesterday that the Whitney relocate. "The Whitney in its history has moved on every prior occasion when it needed to grow," she said. "It is appropriate at this juncture that the Whitney move again to a more commercial or industrial neighborhood where it won't be restricted by the historic district or ruin the character of its surroundings, and where people would welcome Mr. Piano's ultra-modern, commercial design."

    "When you buy or rent your home in a historic district that is protected by the Landmarks Preservation Commission," Ms. Moore added, "you expect your neighborhood to remain the same."

    Few at the hearing disputed that the Whitney's request posed an important debate. "Is it worthwhile to allow the well-being of an entire complex to be diminished by the preservation of a single brownstone?" asked Bill Higgins, the Whitney's historical preservation consultant, in his testimony. "It is not an easy question, but I think it is a crucial one."

    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

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    I wouldnt knock down a shack for what they have panned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kris
    February 2, 2005

    Fierce Battle Over Plan to Expand The Whitney

    By ROBIN POGREBIN


    The Whitney as it is today.

    n expansion plan for the Whitney Museum of American Art ran into fierce opposition yesterday from neighborhood residents and preservation groups at a public hearing, with the angriest objections focusing on a move to demolish two brownstones next to the museum on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

    A well-organized contingent of artists, architects and museum directors who support the expansion, designed by the architect Renzo Piano, countered their arguments. Among them were the painter Chuck Close, the sculptor Mark di Suvero, architects like Maya Lin, and museum directors including Philippe de Montebello of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Glenn D. Lowry of the Museum of Modern Art.

    Gary Chinn, a 25-year resident of a brownstone at 34 East 75th Street, said the Whitney could not "be allowed to run roughshod over the character of the neighborhood that it chose to be part of with its demolition."

    The hearing, which was moved from the commission's headquarters to Pace University to accommodate the approximately 200 who attended, was required because the two 1876 brownstone buildings that would be razed lie within the Upper East Side Historic District. One of those brownstones is a so-called contributing building: one that has been deemed of artistic, historic or cultural importance.

    The Landmarks Commission has never issued a "certificate of appropriateness" allowing the demolition of a contributing brownstone in a historic district.

    Those supporting the expansion plan argued that the Piano proposal would not necessarily set a precedent, because the Landmarks Commission rules on a case-by-case basis. They also commended Mr. Piano for preserving the three other remaining brownstones on Madison Avenue in his plan and for respecting the pink granite Marcel Breuer building that has been the Whitney's home since 1966.

    Mr. Piano's design includes a 172-foot tower that would rise behind the row of brownstones on Madison Avenue and connect to the Breuer building with a series of glass bridges. Replacing the demolished brownstones would be a new main entrance, 32 feet wide, leading to a public piazza; the current Breuer entrance would be used by school groups and as a point of access to the bookstore.

    Speaking in support of the plan, Mr. Close, a Whitney board trustee, said, "The artists are the ultimate clients of the architecture."

    He said that Mr. Piano designed "buildings that artists want to be shown in."

    "His use of natural light," he continued, "makes the visitor experience one of serene joy."

    But Lisa Kersavage, a member of the Municipal Art Society's preservation committee, said Mr. Piano should revise the design to preserve the brownstones.

    "The Whitney has not yet crossed the threshold in their argument for demolition of the contributing building, based on appropriateness," she said. "We are confident that this very talented architect could develop a very satisfactory solution that both retains the contributing buildings and provides for the museum's programmatic needs."

    And Robert Lang, the director of community programs and services at the Landmarks Conservancy, argued that granting the Whitney's request would set "an adverse precedent."

    The American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, while supporting the addition in principle, raised questions about preservation issues. In prepared comments read into the record yesterday, it asked the Landmarks Commission to require that "an alternatives study be prepared and presented to the commission that would illustrate the options available to the museum other than complete demolition."

    The museum said it needed more space to display its collection (which has grown to 16,000 works from 2,000 over the last four decades), to manage visitors moving through its cramped lobby (now 577,000 a year) and to accommodate education programs. (It has no auditorium or classrooms.) The museum had previously selected and then rejected two other architectural expansion plans, one by Michael Graves and another by Rem Koolhaas.

    Calling his building "a little tower," Mr. Piano pointed out at the hearing that his plan would add just 35 percent more space to the current museum. "Two things I love and respect" are the Breuer building and the brownstones, he said. "The idea is just to find the right balance."

    Hamilton Smith, Breuer's associate architect on the Whitney, also testified in support of the Piano plan. "Mr. Piano's design concept neither engulfs nor overshadows the original Breuer building," he said.

    Flora Miller Biddle, the granddaughter of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who founded the museum, also offered support for the expansion. "It's elegant, it's modest," she said. "I can imagine how happy my mother and my grandmother would be to see it."

    Several neighborhood residents seemed distressed that the landmarks commission would even consider the demolition. "If Landmarks permits the Whitney's expansion, where will it end?" said Edward Klimerman, the president of the co-op board at 14 East 75th Street. "Everyone should be obligated to follow the rules."

    Calvert Moore, another resident, suggested yesterday that the Whitney relocate. "The Whitney in its history has moved on every prior occasion when it needed to grow," she said. "It is appropriate at this juncture that the Whitney move again to a more commercial or industrial neighborhood where it won't be restricted by the historic district or ruin the character of its surroundings, and where people would welcome Mr. Piano's ultra-modern, commercial design."

    "When you buy or rent your home in a historic district that is protected by the Landmarks Preservation Commission," Ms. Moore added, "you expect your neighborhood to remain the same."

    Few at the hearing disputed that the Whitney's request posed an important debate. "Is it worthwhile to allow the well-being of an entire complex to be diminished by the preservation of a single brownstone?" asked Bill Higgins, the Whitney's historical preservation consultant, in his testimony. "It is not an easy question, but I think it is a crucial one."

    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
    Not sure what to say about this, but if it's just for a new entrance, why do it? Let it be. An entrance on the ave. is better anyway, no?

    Maybe they should move into a whole new Renzo glass building. Make the move to the West Side and really give the area a huge boost. I suppose another cultural institution could move into the old Whitney then.

  14. #14

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    I would absolutely suck if they raze those great old buildings. There's so much mierda in Manhattan that needs to be razed and redeveloped (like pretty much all of First and York Avenues on the UES and large parts of 2nd). Those pristine, old buildings should not be touched.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billyblancoNYC
    Not sure what to say about this, but if it's just for a new entrance, why do it? Let it be. An entrance on the ave. is better anyway, no?
    They really need a new entrance that can handle a higher volume. As it is now the line always stretches around to 75th st., and once you get inside, it's a mess. Obviously designed for a much less traffic. Just putting the line inside would be an improvement.

    I so prefer the Koolhaas design... what does it say about the Whitney's supposed cutting-edge cred to go with a conservative design like Piano's?

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