For The Whitney Museum in New York City, it’s out with the old and in with the new. The building that has, until soon, housed the museum has been called an eyesore and it has been called an iconic NYC landmark; but, love it or hate it, this architectural work will soon have a new purpose as The Whitney delves into new downtown-territory. The question at hand is: What purpose will the old building have?
The buzz? That it may remain a museum, this time with a focus on architecture, so suggests New York Magazine. Like the building itself, this idea (which was based off of a flippant comment by Robert A.M. Stern) has gotten a myriad of reactions from people who love the idea, want to pair it with a design-focused element, or want to tear it down and create something new from the ground up. Regardless of whether they go in the architectural direction, what seems to be certain are talks between The Whitney and The Met combining efforts for a joint venture.
The Whitney Museum of American Art, currently on Madison Avenue, is home to numerous famous works by the likes of Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, Man Ray and Jackson Pollack. Its Board announced some time ago their plans to construct a new building project in the Meatpacking District, the design to be headlined by architect Renzo Piano. The newest update on plans, released on December 20, 2010, revealed that they are finally in position to begin actual construction on May 24, 2011 with the museum set to open in 2015. This new location, adjacent to the above-street-level High Line park, will allow for 50,000 square feet indoors and 13,000 square feet of rooftop galleries, creating more space and a new approach to displaying their permanent and upcoming collections.
Meanwhile, the lonely Marcel Breuer building that the Whitney left behind, standing on Madison Avenue, will be repurposed. A museum of architecture based in a building whose architectural taste has been questioned (at least in the placement of it on such a prestigious and uptown-y central avenue) would be a bold choice, but one I won’t complain about. As far as I’m concerned, anything that joins The Whitney and The Met in a new venture, and smack-dab in the middle of New York City, is a winner in my book already!
More information on the fate of Madison building and the progress of the downtown project will be posted on ArtFeedOnline.com as it becomes available, so stay tuned.
The new location, the before and the projected “after”:
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