LETTER TO THE EDITORPublished by Crain’s New York on January 18, 2015
“I am opposed to the destruction of the ‘permanent designated’ garden in front of the Frick Collection (Editorial, “Expand the Frick museum,” Jan. 5). As a former chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission and former member of the City Planning Commission, I believe such action would set a terrible precedent for designated landmarks. As to the need for expansion, it could be complied with underground, as is done with other institutions. It should be noted that already underground, under the garden, exists a mechanical equipment room.
“In 1977, the Frick Collection itself issued a press release** announcing a small pavilion and a ‘permanent’ garden. To invalidate this designation would be a mockery of New York City laws.”
—Beverly Moss Spatt, Brooklyn
Ms. Spatt served on the Landmarks Preservation Commission from 1974 until 1978 – the same time during which the Frick’s 1977 addition of the Russell Page Viewing Garden and the adjacent Reception Hall Pavilion were undergoing review and, ultimately, approval at the LPC.
** Read the February 1977 press release in Charles Birnbaum’s August 2014 article for the Huffington Post: “That ‘Temporary’ Frick Garden – It was Created to Be Permanent.”