MoMA Decides to Demolish Folk Art Museum

The stay of execution that was granted to the Museum of American Folk Art after protests from architects and preservationists has been lifted. MoMA has announced plans to demolish the celebrated building to accommodate its expansions plans.
January 9, 2014, 5am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"The Museum of Modern Art Wednesday reaffirmed its decision to raze the former home of the American Folk Art Museum, after protests from architects and preservationists prompted MoMA to reconsider tearing it down," reports Jennifer Maloney. "MoMA had left the decision in the hands of the architecture firm tapped to design its planned 100,500 square foot expansion. That firm, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, told the museum's board of trustees Wednesday that the 13-year-old folk-art building couldn't be preserved without rebuilding much of its interior and undermining its architectural integrity."

The demolition of the beloved building will clear the way for the construction of a Jean Nouvel–designed tower and allow the museum to expand its gallery, multi-use, and entry spaces.

Paul Goldberger, an outspoken critic of the plan, had harsh words for MoMA and New York City:

A city that allows such a work to disappear after barely a dozen years is a city with a flawed architectural heart. A large cultural institution that cannot find a suitable use for such a building is an institution with a flawed architectural imagination. 

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Published on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 in The Wall Street Journal
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