The Frick Collection has announced that it is a planning a major expansion that would increase the the museum's overall space by nearly a third. The 60,000 square feet of new construction would extend the famous mansion to the east and connect it with the museum's art reference library on East 71st. It would rise six stories — the same height as the tallest part of the existing structure — and be designed in the same Beaux-Arts style as the museum by Davis Brody Bond, the architectural firm that did the interiors at the 9/11 Museum. It would also include a roof garden with Central Park views.
Of course, since the building in which the museum is housed is one of the last and greatest Gilded Age mansions remaining in New York City, the plans will first have to be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which is where things are probably going to get fun. The Landmarks process involves public review and testimony and there are a number of Upper East Siders who are, let's just say, not big fans of things happening In Their Backyards, let alone significant additions to indisputably historic buildings. The museum, for its part, claims that its current space is far too small to meet the demands of visitors and that they frequently have to turn people away, so we'll see how far that argument gets them.
· Frick Seeks to Expand Beyond Jewel-Box Spaces [NYT]