A group calling itself ‘Unite to Save the Frick‘ started a petition urging the Frick Museum in New York to drop its plans for expansion. The key aims of Unite to Save the Frick, as stated in the petition, are the preservation of the Frick’s “character-defining intimacy,” preventing the destruction of the Russell Page Viewing Garden, and maintaining the museum’s “residential scale.”
The Frick’s expansion plan calls for doing away with the coveted viewing garden on East 70th Street designed by landscape architect Russell Page, building a tower in the place of the garden, and extending the six-story Frick library building, which has an entrance on 71st street, to 70th street. It would also transform the music room, a unique circular space used for concerts and lectures, into a gallery for temporary exhibitions. Only 3,600 square feet of the planned 40,000 square-foot addition would be used for showing art.
“We the undersigned,” it begins, “call upon the Board of Trustees of the Frick Collection to withdraw the museum’s ill-conceived expansion proposal, which would destroy two of the City, State and National-landmarked museum’s most essential elements and irreparably damage the unique sense of intimacy that is a hallmark of the Frick experience. We also call upon our public officials to deny approval of this expansion plan.”
“Frick officials have the opportunity to acknowledge the importance of this garden and honor the artist who created it, landscape architect Russell Page. They should embrace it as a valued and unique part of its collection, and find a solution that addresses their programmatic needs and protects this important work of art,” according to Charles E. Birnbaum in The Huffington Post.