HDC, the city-wide advocate for New York City’s historic neighborhoods, and FRIENDS echoed the concerns expressed by the Unite campaign. Addressing the inappropriateness of the proposed design, the intent to destroy the landmarked Russell Page Viewing Garden, and the existence of expansion alternatives, both organizations call upon the Frick to withdraw their proposal.
Joining the campaign as a Voice of Support is The Garden Club of America. Comprised of 200 member clubs throughout the country, GCA lends its 18,000+ members’ expertise in horticulture, conservation and civic improvement to the campaign to preserve the landmarked Russell Page Viewing Garden as a significant element of the museum ensemble.
Please join us in thanking the Garden Club of America, FRIENDS and HDC for their thoughtful statements and leadership on this important issue.
From Statement of Historic District’s Council:
Increasing the interior space … would transform The Frick into an institutional environment, antithetical to its intended intimate conception. [HDC’s Public Review Committee] was disturbed that this massing will not be allocated for gallery space, but rather for other functions, such as classrooms and event spaces, that could potentially be placed elsewhere … HDC finds the proposal in its current form to be a myopic solution for expansion, and one that would compromise the museum’s setting and genteel atmosphere. One cannot truly compare The Frick to any other museum in the city; it is unique and stands apart, in nature and in space. That deliberate quality is an invaluable asset to its surrounding neighborhood and is a gift to our city. Any necessary expansion must be achieved with equal individuality rather than giving in to the mania for mindless growth that has afflicted so many other New York institutions.
From Statement of FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts:
In sum, FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts is opposed to this project as presented. The Frick Collection is a unique mansion in an urban setting, and any alterations should be respectful of its history as a residence. The proposed project is far too large and ungainly, overwhelming the museum, as well as the streetscape. The green space flanking the Frick contributes to the sense that it is an important free-standing structure. The Russell Page Garden is significant in its own right, and is further protected as part of the landmark site. Finally, there are many other options for expansion that have yet to be pursued.
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PHOTO: The Russell Page Viewing Garden at the Frick, during Unite’s sidewalk leafleting efforts on Thursday, October 9th.