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Displaying items by tag: Landmark

A group of 54 artists and other art worlders has signed a letter asking Mayor de Blasio and Meenakshi Srinivasan, chair of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, to deny the Frick Collection’s proposed plan for expansion.

“Those of us in the art world who cherish the unique and tranquil ambiance offered by the Frick are urging the Frick to withdraw its proposed plan and consider alternative methods of expansion that would preserve the character essential to its appeal,” says the missive, which is signed by gallerists Paul Kasmin and Irving Blum, filmmaker Sophia Coppola, and artists Jeff Koons, Chuck Close, John Currin, Brice Marden, Frank Stella, Cindy Sherman, Deborah Kass, Cecily Brown, Lisa Yuskavage, Rudolf Stingel, and Sarah Sze, among others.

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On Monday, January 5, 2015, Newport, Rhode Island’s Zoning Board of Review released its 4-1 decision in favor of a controversial visitor center planned for the grounds of The Breakers, a Gilded Age mansion built for the Vanderbilts. Many neighbors, preservationists, and descendants of the Vanderbilts, including the designer Gloria Vanderbilt, have voiced their opposition to the center, stating that it would detract from the integrity of the historic landmark.

The magnificent seaside mansion is owned and operated by the Preservation Society of Newport County, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the area's finest architecture, decorative arts, landscape, and social history.

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The Historic Districts Council, which can influence the city’s decisions but has no official role, has come out in opposition to the Frick Collection’s planned expansion, the council announced on Wednesday.

The council’s public review committee — which examines proposals for work on landmark buildings that are to come before the Landmarks Preservation Commission — said in a statement that the proposed expansion “will destroy the design intent of Thomas Hastings’ residential composition and John Russell Pope’s graceful museum transformation.”

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In the dead of night, a 95-year-old Picasso went under the knife.

“Anything goes wrong, just stop what you’re doing,” the lead technician, Tom Zoufaly, commanded. “I don’t want to hear any screaming, yelling.”

The scene of the operation was the Four Seasons restaurant on Park Avenue, home since 1959 to “Le Tricorne,” a 19-by-20-foot stage curtain painted by Pablo Picasso. The curtain had been caught in a dispute between the New York Landmarks Conservancy, which owns the piece, and Aby J. Rosen, the owner of the landmark Seagram Building, where it resided. Mr. Rosen wanted it taken away.

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One of London's most recognisable landmarks, the Gherkin, has been put up for sale and is expected to be snapped up by an overseas buyer.

The 40-storey City of London skyscraper was put into receivership in April, and the agents appointed to sell it are hoping for offers in the region of £600m to £650m. Savills and Deloitte Real Estate have been jointly instructed to sell the 505,000 sq ft (46,900 sq m) office building, which was designed by Lord Foster and opened in 2004. The two firms said marketing of the Gherkin – including an advertising campaign and a dedicated website – was about to begin, "with interest expected to come from all corners of the globe."

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Back in December 2012, officials at the New York Public Library (NYPL) received considerable opposition after releasing a number of important details pertaining to the institution’s $300 million renovation. The part of the project that prompted the most backlash involved clearing out the century-old back portion of the library, which is housed in a landmark building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Over three million volumes were to be relocated to a storage space under Bryant Park as well as another facility in Princeton, NJ.

In July 2013, a group of historians and preservationists filed a lawsuit again the library, asking NYPL officials and the project’s architect, Norman Foster, to reconsider their plan. The group also filed an application to have the library’s iconic Rose Main Reading Room landmarked in order to protect the book stacks, which support the room’s structural integrity.

While the lawsuit has not yet gone to court, the NYPL’s president, Anthony Marx, and Foster have responded to the plaintiffs, insisting that a revised plan, which will be released this fall, includes a new circulating library under the Rose Main Reading Room. Marx and Foster also announced that the new design will incorporate the book stacks as “a prominent feature.”

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Twelve years ago, the Folk Art Museum erected a monumental flagship building next door to the Museum of Modern Art on West 53rd Street in Manhattan. In 2011, after a spate of financial troubles, the Folk Art Museum decided to sell the building to MoMA and move to a smaller outpost. Now, the MoMA is planning to demolish the building to make way for an expansion that will connect to a new tower on the other side of the former Folk Art Museum.

The building, which was designed by notable New York-based architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien and features a sculptural bronze façade, has become a Midtown landmark in a short amount of time. However, MoMA officials decided that the building didn’t mesh well with the museum’s glass façade; it is also set back further than MoMA’s structure, making expansion logistics difficult.

MoMA’s new 82-story building will be designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and constructed by Hines, a Houston-based company. The new structure will include apartments and about 40,000 square feet of gallery space. The Folk Art Museum’s former space will provide an additional 10,000 square feet of exhibition space. The renovation is expected to begin in 2014 by which time the Folk Art Museum’s former home will be leveled.      

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Thursday, 20 December 2012 17:31

Frank Lloyd Wright House Safe From Demolition

A house built in 1952 by Frank Lloyd Wright for his son, David, has spent months on the brink of demolition. Fortunately, an anonymous buyer has purchased the Phoenix, Arizona home, ensuring its preservation.

The buyer paid $2.387 million for the house, which overlooks the picturesque Camelback Mountains. The former owners, Steve Sells and John Hoffman of the Arizona-based development company, 8081 Meridian, continued to raise the price of the house after purchasing the property for $1.8 million this past June.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, an organization devoted to preserving the seminal architect’s legacy, facilitated the recent sale. After hearing that the former owners planned to level the house and split the lot to build new homes, the conservancy petitioned the city with the help of other organizations, asking that the house be granted landmark status. While three local government bodies approved the proposal, the City Council, which would be the deciding vote, repeatedly postponed their decision.

One of Wright’s most significant later works, the house in Phoenix features a coiled design similar to the one Wright employed for the Guggenheim Museum in New York. For years ago, Wright’s granddaughters decided to sell the house to a buyer they thought would preserve it. However, the house was sold again in June to 8081 Meridian putting it in danger of demolition.

While the house is in need of approximately $300,000 worth of restoration, the conservancy is helping to establish a nonprofit organization that will maintain and operate the house as well as oversee the renovation. The new owner plans to acquire landmark status for the house so that it can be made available for educational purposes on a limited basis.

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Friday, 14 October 2011 02:34

A “landmark” museum for Ukraine

Post-Soviet Kiev is a city in transformation. There are new shops and restaurants; airports are expanding, and the Olympic stadium is being revamped in preparation for the 2012 European football championships to be hosted jointly by Ukraine and Poland. But perhaps nothing exemplifies change in the country’s capital so much as the crowds queuing up to see sharks in formaldehyde, balloon rabbits in stainless steel, and sculptures of sperm-wielding adolescents, works by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami respectively. All three artists have been shown for the first time in Ukraine at the Pinchuk Art Centre (PAC), a private museum of contemporary art in the centre of Kiev, which has just celebrated its fifth birthday.

Since its opening in 2006, nearly 1.2 million people have visited the gallery, which charges no admission and also includes a bookshop and a trendy bar with views over the city. Of these visitors, 60% are aged between 16 and 30. “Our society, especially young people, accepted contemporary art in a great way, in an unexpected way… there is a huge appetite for it,” says Victor Pinchuk, the steel magnate and billionaire who finances the museum and who has put himself at the centre of efforts to modernise Ukraine.

Pinchuk recently gave The Art Newspaper a rare interview on his estate outside Kiev, where he told us the success of his gallery has encouraged him to attempt a bigger, much more ambitious museum project. PAC is currently housed in an early 20th-century building in central Kiev which was once a hotel. But Pinchuk now wants to give it a new home in a purpose-built gallery designed by a top international architectural firm.

“It has to be an important building for our country, for our city. It has to be a destination for sightseeing tours in Kiev. I hope the image of this art centre will be on the most popular postcards… it has to be,” he says.

PAC hosts temporary exhibitions curated by museum staff and also shows a rotating display of work from Pinchuk’s own collection. The new gallery, in an “iconic” building, will do the same, says Pinchuk, who believes it could be ready within five years. He will not reveal the architects he is considering for the museum, however sources close to the project suggest Switzerland’s Herzog & de Meuron have been hired for the job.

An embarrassment of riches

Victor Pinchuk is an easy man to like. He is funny and charming and likes to gossip. He is also very, very rich. He trained as an engineer in the Soviet era, gaining a PhD from the Metallurgical Institute in Dnipropetrovsk in eastern Ukraine, before setting up his own company in 1990 to manufacture a new kind of metal tubing that he had invented. He went on to sell it all over the former Soviet Union. His fortune increased further after he met and married Elena, the daughter of the ex-president of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma. The family connection helped Pinchuk secure Ukraine’s Kryvorizhstal steel company for $850m when the industry was privatised. Following the Orange Revolution, the sale was rescinded and the company was sold again, this time to Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal for $4.8bn. Despite the setback, Pinchuk has gone on to even greater success. He diversified and in 2006 set up EastOne Ltd, an investment advisory company which controls several TV stations and the most popular tabloid newspaper in the country, as well as multiple industrial assets. Today, Forbes estimates Pinchuk’s fortune at $3.3bn.

With that much spending power comes enormous influence. Although Pinchuk has only taken a serious interest in art in the last five years, he is courted by museum directors the world over. When Pinchuk asks for a favour, one imagines few turn him down. Alfred Pacquement, Glenn Lowry, Richard Armstrong and Nicholas Serota, respectively directors of the Pompidou, MoMA, the Guggenheim and Tate, all serve on the board of Pinchuk’s Future Generation Art Prize, a $100,000 award given every two years to an artist under 35 of any nationality.

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