The East 75th Street block that housed the Whitney Museum of American Art for almost 50 years is getting ready for a host of changes, following the closure of the museum's Marcel Breuer building in preparation for its impeding move to the Meatpacking District. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is preparing to take over the space in March 2016, but until then, the block will undergo a a whirlwind of construction.
Rumor has it that Apple will be opening a store across the street at 940 Madison Avenue, in the United States Mortgage and Trust Company building, though Apple has not made a formal announcement about the location. Right next door to the Whitney's historic Breuer building, six brownstones and two townhouses are being converted into luxury condos condos and retail space.
Developer Daniel E. Straus bought the collection of neighboring properties from the Whitney in 2010 for $95 million, when the future of the block was still up in the air and the Met had not yet made plans to move into the Breuer building. Since then, he has gutted the brownstones and demolished one, leaving only the facades, after winning approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Eventually, the new building will feature 17,300 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and basement level, plus 10 condos and a three-story penthouse. The project was designed by Beyer Blinder Belle. Penthouse 2, which has a terrace that's almost a block long, officially listed last week, asking $39 million.
Despite the fact that the brownstone facades will be retained, area preservationists (including Tara Kelly of the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts) have expressed concerns about the redesign, asking "if you have a hammer and you replace the head and you replace the wooden shaft, is it still the same hammer that you had?"
· Rebuilding a Block to Greet the Met Museum [NYT]
· Revealed: Images, Prices of Retail Space Next to Whitney [NYO]
· Beyer Binder Belle [official]
· All Whitney condos coverage [Curbed]
· All Whitney coverage [Curbed]