Award-winning landscape architect and urban designer M. Paul Friedberg has joined the conversation concerning the Frick’s destructive expansion proposal. In a letter addressed to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Mr. Friedberg writes:
“… the very energy that defines New York if left unchecked can prove destructive and destroy the very essence that makes this city great. The plan for the Frick expansion is a case in point. It suggests that to gain a benefit for the museum you must destroy a historic entity that adds to the cultural and aesthetic value of the city.“
Mr. Friedberg’s complete letter is below. Please share it broadly and encourage others to follow his lead, writing to key decision makers with whom rests the power to halt this short-sighted plan and protect the Frick’s landmarked ensemble of architecture and landscape.
Mr. Friedberg is recognized as a pioneer in the field of landscape design (quite literally – read his profile by The Cultural Landscape Foundation here)*. He is a recipient of the American Society of Landscape Architect’s highest honor, its Design Medal, and has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects with their top medal to an allied partner.
Sincere gratitude for our friends and colleagues at the ASLA-NY chapter for activating their membership and sounding the call for action among landscape design professionals! Revisit the ASLA-NY’s Letter to the Editor of the New York Times, here.
* The Cultural Landscape Foundation has been a leading voice in the campaign to save the Russell Page-designed Viewing Garden at the Frick, being the first to herald Page’s significance in the world of landscape architecture and design. Visit their website for more on Russell Page, the garden at the Frick, and other landscapes under threat.
|M. PAUL FRIEDBERG LA/UD
|1000 Springs Fireplace Rd
East Hampton, NY 11937
|116 West 88th Street
New York , NY 10024
Tel: (212) 580-7760
|28 Nahalat Yizhak St.
Tel Aviv, Israel 67448
Tel:( 972) 3 609-082
Mayor Bill de Blasio
New York, NY 10007
New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
Att.: Commissioner Meenakshi Srinivasan, Chair
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor, North
New York, NY 10007
The Frick Collection Board of Trustees
Att.: Ian Wardropper, Director
1 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021
To all concerned,
New York is my town. It is my chosen place to live and work. I revel in the culture and energy of this city. However the very energy that defines New York if left unchecked can prove destructive and destroy the very essence that makes this city great.
The plan for the Frick expansion is a case in point. It suggests that to gain a benefit for the museum you must destroy a historic entity that adds to the cultural and aesthetic value of the city.
My professional life has been dedicated to the building of places for the visitors and residents of New York and other cities. Sadly, I have experienced the destructions of many of these Internationally recognized places under the banner of progress. Most if not all of these decisions ,in retrospect, were mindless and based on self interest. Sadly, once effected, cannot be reversed. My experience is not unique as this city experienced the destruction of Penn Station and other monuments to our history and culture.
The vision for our city should not be determined by individuals with special interest who do not consider the long term impact of their actions. Let us build with the objective to add value without destruction.
As a professional and resident of this wonderful city I request that those who can effect a reconsideration of the expansion plan for the Frick do so without destroying a vital part of our city.
M. Paul Friedberg