In early October, Unite volunteers took to the sidewalks of East 70th and 71st Streets to educate the public of the threat posed to the landmark ensemble of the Frick Collection. Among those dedicating time and energy to this important campaign was Alberto Sanchez Sanchez.
Originally from Spain, Alberto is an architect pursuing further studies at Columbia University, in the Masters Program in Historic Preservation. A Fulbright scholar, his guest post below shares why participating in the campaign for smart modernization and preservation at the Frick is meaningful to him. Read on!
Follow Alberto’s lead — volunteer with Unite! Email us to learn about ways you can take action.
“As a Fulbright scholar, I share the aims of the program as defined by Senator J. William Fulbright: ‘to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion into world affairs and thereby increase the chance that nations will learn at last to live in peace and friendship.’
Volunteering for Unite to Save the Frick, I aim to contribute to the cause by bringing a little more knowledge and a little more reason to the debate.
As an architect and current graduate student in Historic Preservation at Columbia University, I share the conviction that there are other alternatives for the Frick Collection, to give the museum the space it needs without destroying the gorgeous garden designed by Russell Page. From underground expansion to the purchase of adjacent buildings, the museum trustees should consider other options before approving this destructive plan: if the current Frick’s expansion plan is carried out, it will cause irreparable damage to this city, state and nationally-landmarked building.
While working in Spain, I volunteered for APUDEPA (Public Association for the Defense of Aragonese Heritage) against the demolition of Averly, the only European foundry that has been uninterruptedly in use since the early 19th century. As in the Frick’s expansion plan, no other options apart from demolition were being considered. In APUDEPA, we promoted a Manifiesto against the demolition that was signed by more than 200 architects, professors and many other professionals, including 20 members of the Spanish Royal Academy of Engineering, three National Prize of Architecture award-winning architects and more than 150 PhD’s. We had an educational mission: demonstrating to the Saragossa City Council that demolishing Averly would cause an irreparable damage to the history of the city.
With Unite to Save the Frick, architects, landscape architects, historians, design professionals, scholars, artists, authors, preservation advocates, art and museum critics, journalists, members of the Frick Collection and students are doing the same: Trying to convince both the museum trustees and city officials that the Frick’s expansion plan will destroy the museum’s essence.
As a Fulbright scholar, I am proud to volunteer my time for Unite to Save the Frick: It is a matter of culture versus insensitivity. We are on the right side.”