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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.
April 13, 2013, 5am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"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:
Published on Friday, April 12, 2013 in Crain's New York Business
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