Architect’s Newspaper: Alternatives for Frick Exist — Look to Cooper Hewitt

For the January 14th edition of The Architect’s Newspaper, editor Alan Brake reviews the renovated Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. He writes:

an_logo_stacked “Working within the constraints of their existing building, they relocated offices and the library to adjacent townhouses and moved collection storage offsite … “

Located in the former Andrew Carnegie Mansion on East 91st Street, the Cooper Hewitt is akin to the Frick as a former Gilded Age mansion-turned-art house. The Cooper Hewitt has been repeatedly named as a reasonable source of inspiration for alternatives at the Frick – and Brake’s article only underscores the appropriateness of that comparison. In his review, he describes the Frick’s northern neighbor – like the Frick, a NYC Individual Landmark – as undertaking a “modest” yet “effective” approach to modernization.

Brake’s final paragraph speaks directly to those appealing to the leadership of the Frick to withdraw its current proposal and explore alternatives.:

“Opponents of the Frick’s expansion plan can rightfully point to the Cooper Hewitt mansion-as-museum to show what can be done within an existing building to bring an institution up to date. Maybe the Frick can learn to live with a cramped coat-check area or move the director’s office offsite. The Cooper Hewitt, a partially publicly funded museum, seems to have found a way—it’s a refreshing example of public stewardship, institutional self-reflection, and intelligent restraint.”

To view the full article, click here.

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