clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Isamu Noguchi’s artwork may be removed from Midtown lobby

New, 2 comments

Plus, an interim NYC Transit President has been appointed—and more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup

ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images

Good morning, and welcome to New York Minute, a roundup of the New York City news you need to know about today. Send stories you think should be included to tips@curbed.com.

As part of a Midtown building revamp, Isamu Noguchi’s artwork may be removed

Isamu Noguchi’s 1957 artwork in the lobby of 666 Fifth Avenue, which he called “a landscape of clouds,” may be lost with the building’s upcoming revamp, the New York Times reports.

Back in 2018, Brookfield Properties made a deal with Kushner Companies to takeover the building’s operations and upgrade it through a 99-year lease. More recently, in October 2019, Brookfield unveiled their plans to overhaul the tower through a collaboration with Kohn Pedersen Fox.

At the time, the developers said the plans included replacing the facade and renovating the tower’s twin lobbies, which feature part of Noguchi’s work in the building. The Times describes the piece, on the lobbies’s ceilings, as “an upside-down ocean of backlit, undulating aluminum blades.”

Brookfield aims to disassemble the pieces and possibly donate them. A spokesperson for the developer told the Times that the piece, which is not landmarked, does not merit preservation given changes previously made to it, which don’t reflect Noguchi’s original vision.

Preservationists strongly disagree: “The most significant part of the original ensemble has survived, and it’s landmark worthy,” Docomomo board member John Morris Dixon told the Times. “The lobby is a great asset that gives a high degree of individuality to the building.”

And in other news...