The campaign to protect the landmarked Frick Collection on the Upper East Side is not bound by geography. Though the museum is located on the Upper East Side, advocates and allies from across the five boroughs, the nation and internationally recognize the significance of the Frick (it is designated a landmark at the City, State and National levels). Joining organizations such as the Garden Club of America, the Historic Districts Council, the Library of American Landscape History, and the Defenders of the Historic Upper East Side is LANDMARK WEST!, a leading preservation advocacy organization on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Read on for their call to action.
A Message from
East Side, West Side, all around the town … if it happens there, it can happen here. It can happen anywhere.
Everywhere you look, the delusion that “bigger-is-better” is sweeping our city’s neighborhoods. It is unfortunate that New York City’s finest cultural institutions, of all things, regularly surrender to this temptation, seeking to expand their physical footprints to the detriment of their landmark buildings and historic settings.
Look at what may be in store for East 70th Street, where the Frick Collection plans to destroy its garden and construct a mammoth annex that towers over the block (see the recent coverage by New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, “The Case Against a Mammoth Frick Collection Addition,” July 30, 2014). We can’t help but think of all the Upper West Side institutions keenly monitoring this case and its implications for their own development plans.
For example, the New-York Historical Society (Central Park West between 76th & 77th Streets):
- The Society’s Individual Landmark building and the iconic Central Park West skyline have been threatened—not once but twice by the Society.
- Now, in 2014, the Society plans another attempt at tower development. LANDMARK WEST! will be watching this carefully, and when (not if) the time comes to evaluate a proposal for further building on the Society’s landmark site, we’ll be ready.
To save the New-York Historical Society, we must get involved with what’s happening at the Frick. And to save the Frick, the time for mobilization is now.
LANDMARK WEST! strongly opposes the Frick’s expansion plan. We offer our support to those who are rallying around this important issue, including the Historic Districts Council, FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, The Garden Conservancy, the Garden Club of America, Defenders of the Historic Upper East Side, The Cultural Landscape Foundation, and Unite to Save the Frick. Visit the Unite website to learn more about what’s at stake if the Frick’s destructive plan is not stopped.
Please SIGN THE PETITION and be sure to spread the word to your networks.
LANDMARK WEST!, founded in 1985, is an award-winning non-profit that works to achieve landmark status for individual buildings and historic districts on the Upper West Side, and to protect them from insensitive change and demolition. LW! is the proud curator of nearly 3,000 designated architectural and cultural landmarks from 59th to 110th Streets, Central Park to Riverside Park. LW! is dedicated to building community and promoting awareness of our neighborhood’s special character. In 2015, LANDMARK WEST! will celebrate 30 years of landmarks advocacy.