Museum expansions and Preservation Letter

19 Nov 2015 | 11:57

Re “Museum Releases Design, and Critics Stand Firm” (West Side Spirit, Nov. 12). Recently, the Frick Museum was forced to retract its (brilliant) expansion plan because the Landmarks Preservation Commission apparently strongly suggested to them that their plan to raze the small garden on 70th Street might not pass muster. Note that the Frick garden is on private land, and has a footprint of 4,800 square feet (60 x 80). Now, the American Museum of Natural History has revealed expansion plans that would take over a parcel of 11,600 square feet of public park land. (N.B. 11,600 square feet is not “around a quarter acre”; it is closer to half an acre.) If the LPC does not reject this plan, its hypocrisy will be nothing short of breath-taking.

Ian Alterman