clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What If We Didn't Tear Down the Folk Art Museum Building?

New, 7 comments

Over the last week, the architectural community has been all aflutter?and, okay, intensely divided?over the fate of the former American Folk Museum Building. A 12-year-old building that was opened just after 9/11 at 45 West 53rd Street, MoMA snatched it up for $23 million in 2011 and is planning to raze its critically acclaimed sculptural bronze facade (designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien, who have also publicly shared their sadness). It's inevitable, the modern art juggernaut shrugs, because the floors of the adjacent buildings don't align and it will have to start from the ground-up to create a cohesive addition, plus the rest of MoMA uses lots of glass as its primary material rather than metal.

But, just for kicks, the Metropolis blog compiled some responses from area architects and general enthusiasts: What are some practical, preservationist alternatives to MoMA's plan, some ways to, um, not tear down the AFAM building?

Gathered on a Tumblr called #FolkMoMA, the proposed solutions range from the cool-looking (extend MoMA's glass wall in front of the existing bronze facade, in effect making the old front a piece of art) to the sensible (solve the problem of uneven floor levels by creating exhibition spaces that have ramps between them) to the merely humorous (give visitors jackhammers).

Tumblr co-creator Quilian Riano, an architect and a Parsons professor, told Metropolis, "The reasons they give, the uneven floors and the glass aesthetics, don't seem to be reasons to tear down the building." Given the outpouring of other suggestions from the architectural community?via both practitioners and critics alike?what do you think?
· Architects Dream up Alternatives to MoMA's Tear Down Plan [Metropolis]
· Regarding The Folk Art Museum [Tod Williams Billie Tsien]
· #FolkMoMA [Tumblr]
· MoMA's New Building Plan: A 'Travesty' or A 'Very Smart Move'? [Curbed]
· MoMA To Raze 12-Year-Old, Architecturally Lauded Building [Curbed]