As you know, the Frick has proposed a six-story addition to the mansion that its collection currently occupies. Along with a number of other loyal Frick-goers, we believe the museum’s plan is ill-conceived, and we are mounting a campaign to convince the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to turn it down.
Recently called “the city’s truest anti-MoMA” by Michael Kimmelman in the The New York Times, the Frick is unique in New York thanks to its home-turned-museum quality. That quality has become even more valuable as we have watched the Morgan Library and Museum sacrifice its unique character in the name of renovation, joining the ranks of so many other more institutional museums.
A disconcerting aspect of the Frick’s expansion plan is its replacement of the museum’s Russell Page-designed Viewing Garden with a 106-foot tower. In the words of Galen Lee, the Frick’s own horticulturalist, viewing the precious outdoor space from the street or from the light-filled Reception Hall Pavilion is “like viewing an Impressionist painting.”
Located in New York City amid the world’s most prestigious museums, the Frick offers the refreshing contrast of an increasingly rare intimate art experience.
If you care about saving one of our only remaining house museums, we ask that you share your e-mail address and other contact information with us so that we can register your objections to this short-sighted expansion plan.
Many thanks for your time and consideration.
Victoria Newhouse, Architectural Historian and Author
Tom L. Freudenheim, Retired Museum Director and Arts Journalist