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Madison Ave. Brownstone: You Still Wanna Piece of Me?

It's been almost a month since Renzo Piano's dreams to raze a "contributing" building on Madison Avenue were crushed by the city's Landmark Preservation Commission, and yet it's still hard to believe that a little brownstone could prevail against a big architect and his big museum renovation. Actually, it's not that hard to believe, considering the commissions 40-year history of rejecting demolition after demolition.

Still, Robin Pogrebin's profile of the building in question, 941 Madison, reveals some lingering ill will.

"The goal should be to link the preservation of our city's heritage with the creation of buildings we'll be proud to look back on 100 years from now," Fredric M. Bell, executive director of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects, told Pogrebin. "The retention of a contributing brownstone was nowhere near as important as the creation of a superlative and exciting new building."
Meanwhile, the news the commission is allowing Renzo to lop off the back half of the building has other critics crying "facade-ism." Perhaps it's a little late, but may we offer a new alternative: slice off the building's face and stick it inside the new Whitney, where preservation and art can live happily ever after.
· Brownstone That Has Eight Lives to Go [NY Times]
· UPDATE: Alternate Whitney Plan Approved [Curbed]
· Opponents Still Not Keen on Whitney Razing Plans [Curbed]
· The Other Half Is Really Not Contributing [Curbed]