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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...
- The “Train Daddy” era officially comes to an end, as an interim NYC Transit president has been appointed: MTA board member Sarah Feinberg.
- The federal government halted a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study that could have led to an ambitious sea wall around New York City.
- A 10-year-old girl was fatally struck by a school bus driver at an East New York intersection.
- Thousands of NYCHA Taft Houses residents were left without water following two water main breaks earlier this week. Residents are reportedly just getting the service back.
- The NYPD hired nurses to help with homeless outreach.
- A look at former Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s record with the city’s homelessness crisis.
- A Manhattan Supreme Court Justice upheld a ruling against a controversial Two Bridges luxury development.