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MoMA To Preserve Folk Art Facade, Open Garden in Expansion

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The MoMA expansion war pushes forth, but finally, the opposition is seeing some concessions from the art, architecture, and design powerhouse. The Times is reporting that MoMA will still raze the American Folk Art Museum as part of their expansion plan, but in doing so, they will dismantle and store the copper-bronze alloy plate facade that has become emblematic of the twelve-year-old folk art destination. "We have made no decision about what happens subsequently," MoMA director Glenn Lowry told the Times, "other than the fact that we'll have it and it will be preserved."

Preserved, ah, preserved. That sweet nectar of a word uttered to appease the angry masses. MoMA expansion architect Elizabeth Diller of Diller, Scofidio + Renfro has essentially already admitted that the panels will not appear on the museum under her lead, "Facades and buildings and their organization, their logic, are tied entirely together...You either have the integrity of a building, with all its intelligence and connected ideas, or you don't." The copper-bronze panels, synonymous with the folk art museum, Diller suggests, wouldn't speak to the new addition.

So here now, soon to be stuck with disembodied copper panels, MoMA is discussing another concession to the masses: the opening of their currently private sculpture garden into a more public space. In considering the above debacle, consider too this article in which Charles A. Birnbaum, president and founder of the Cultural Landscape Foundation, wonders, just how different is the public discourse surrounding building architecture from landscape architecture? People are up in arms over the demolition of the Folk Art Museum, but no one has opposed the opening of the sculpture garden, even though, as Birnbaum points out, it could have detrimental effects. Does this concession not also provoke the conversation of whether or not this decision is beneficial to the space? As more public domain, will it, like the "bedraggled" lawn of the National Mall in D.C., get "loved to death?"
· Folk Art Building Will Be Demolished, but Its Facade Will Live On [NYT]
· Is the MoMA Sculpture Garden Doomed? [AM]
· All American Folk Are Museum/MoMA Expansion coverage [Curbed]