Friday, October 31, 2014

Frick Today, New-York Historical Society Tomorrow ...

The campaign to protect the landmarked Frick Collection on the Upper East Side is not bound by geography. Though the museum is located on the Upper East Side, advocates and allies from across the five boroughs, the nation and internationally recognize the significance of the Frick (it is designated a landmark at the City,State and National levels). 

LANDMARK WEST! joins with organizations such as the Garden Club of America, the HistoricDistricts Council, the Libraryof American Landscape History, and the Defenders of the Historic Upper East Side. Because if it happens there, it can happen here. It can happen anywhere.

Everywhere you look, the delusion that “bigger-is-better” is sweeping our city’s neighborhoods. It is unfortunate that New York City’s finest cultural institutions, of all things, regularly surrender to this temptation, seeking to expand their physical footprints to the detriment of their landmark buildings and historic settings.

Look at what may be in store for East 70th Street, where the Frick Collection plans to destroy its garden and construct a mammoth annex that towers over the block (see the recent coverage by New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, “The Case Against a Mammoth Frick Collection Addition,” July 30, 2014). We can’t help but think of all the Upper West Side institutions keenly monitoring this case and its implications for their own development plans.

N-YHS Proposed Plan, 1984

N-YHS Proposed Plan, 2006

For example, the New-York Historical Society (Central Park West between 76th & 77th Streets):

  • The Society’s Individual Landmark building and the iconic Central Park West skyline have been threatened—not once, not twice, but three times by the Society.
  • Now, in 2014, the Society plans another attempt at tower development. LANDMARK WEST! will be watching this carefully, and when (not if) the time comes to evaluate a proposal for further building on the Society’s landmark site, we’ll be ready.

To save the New-York Historical Society, we must get involved with what’s happening at the Frick. And to save the Frick, the time for mobilization is now.

LANDMARK WEST! strongly opposes the Frick’s expansion plan. We offer our support to those who are rallying around this important issue, including the Historic Districts Council, FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, The Garden Conservancy, the Garden Club of America, Defenders of the Historic Upper East Side, The Cultural Landscape Foundation, and Uniteto Save the Frick. Visit the Unite website to learn more about what’s at stake if the Frick’s destructive plan is not stopped.

Please SIGN THE PETITION and be sure to spread the word to your networks.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How Architecture Works: A Humanist's Toolkit - An Illustrated Talk and Book Signing with Witold Rybczynski

How Architecture Works: A Humanist's Toolkit
An Illustrated Talk and Book Signing with Witold Rybczynski
With an introduction by Jacob Weisberg*

welcoming remarks by Kate Wood

 Tuesday, October 28, 2014 6:30 PM 
 Macaulay Honors College, 35 West 67 Street
How Architecture Works is a humanist's toolkit for thinking about the built environment and seeing it afresh. In his book, Rybczynski says, "Most architecture, a backdrop for our everyday lives, is experienced in bits and pieces - the glimpsed view of a distant spire, the intricacy of a wrought-iron railing, the soaring space of a railroad station waiting room. Sometimes it's just a detail, a well-shaped door handle, a window framing a perfect little view, a rosette carved into a chapel pew. And we say to ourselves, 'How nice. Someone actually thought of that.'"
Modern architecture runs the gamut from fantasy to engineering to retro. This book introduces readers to the rich and varied world of contemporary design, and takes them behind the scenes, showing how architects as varied as Philip Johnson, Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano and Robert A. M. Stern work their magic. From a war memorial in London to an opera house in St. Petersburg, from the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, to an architect's private retreat in downtown Princeton, Rybczynski explains the central elements that constitute good building design.

"...ever the engaging and thoughtful writer, [Rybczynski] offers a wide-ranging tour of the glories and curiosities, old and new, in the field."  -  Washington Post
"[This] expert, holistic, down-to-earth guide awakens us to architecture's profound humanness."  -  Booklist

*Jacob Weisberg is the Chairman of The Slate Group. He is a writer, editor, and political commentator, whose work has been featured in Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine and Newsweek. He is also the author of The Bush Tragedy, a 2008 New York Times bestseller.

Tickets are $20 for LW! members; $25 for non-members;
To inquire about your membership status and/or to purchase tickets
email, or call (212) 496-8110
You may also buy tickets online via Eventbrite.