Wright-Designed Showroom Demolished in NYC Landmarks End-Around

A courtesy phone call from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to the owners of a luxury-car showroom designed by Frank Lloyd Wright was seemingly all it took to persuade them to demolish the historic interior.

"For six decades, a luxury-car showroom with a distinctive swooping ramp stood at the corner of Park Avenue and 56th Street. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, it was the first of only three New York projects by the modernist master."

Only days after owners of the space received word that the Landmarks Preservation Commission was considering designating the Wright showroom, the dealership was destroyed, reports Matt Chaban.

"'The loss of a Frank Lloyd Wright, it's a national tragedy,' said Simeon Bankoff, director of the Historic Districts Council. Like so many in New York, he had no idea the space was even gone."

"Some question whether there was any Wright worth saving, since the space was renovated twice, first in the 1980s and again in 2001," notes Chaban. "The merits of the space would have been considered at the Landmarks Commission."

"'That's a debate we should have had, and could have had, but now we can't' because of the demolition, said Vin Cipolla, president of the Municipal Art Society. 'That's what the landmarking process is for.'"

Full Story: Frank Lloyd Wright Park Avenue site wronged


Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95