One of the great preservation battles of our time is gearing up, as the Landmarks Commission will soon consider the case of the Frick Collection's proposed 60,000-square-foot, garden-destroying expansion. And as the hearing approaches, both sides seem increasingly confident. The opposition, led by preservation-minded group Unite to Save the Frick, has practically every big name on its side, from archicritics like Justin Davidson and the Times' Michael Kimmelman, who came down especially hard on the proposed expansion, to celebrated architects like Peter Pennoyer and Robert A.M. Stern. As such, they're having trouble imagining how Landmarks could sign off on such a plan, which would, as they see it, destroy the architectural character of a historically significant building.
Meanwhile, the museum's director Ian Wardropper dismisses the opposition as mere rabble-rousers, telling the Observer, "I don't know why it's become such a cause célèbre" (an interesting stance from a person who should know better than anyone the significance of the institution). However, this one shakes out, it should be fascinating to watch.
· The Battle for the Frick: Can Thousands of Garden-Loving Activists Stop a Museum? [NYO]
· The Frick Collection coverage [Curbed]