Rockefeller, Met fight to save view from the Cloisters

TRD New York /
Jan.January 21, 2013 10:00 AM

The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Larry Rockefeller are teaming up with neighborhood advocacy groups to oppose the proposed design of the American headquarters of LG Electronics in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., arguing that the multi-story development would ruin the view from the Cloisters museum directly across the Hudson River, the New York Times reported.

The Cloisters, located in Fort Tryon Park at 185th Street in the Washington Heights area, is home to the Met’s medieval art collection since it was built in the 1930s. Land for the site was donated by John D. Rockefeller Jr., who also purchased the cliffs across the river in order to ensure that the museum’s sweeping view of the Palisades would be preserved.

But LG’s proposed 143-foot building threatens that view. The South Korean electronics giant wields considerable clout in Englewood Cliffs due to its status as a significant employer and taxpayer.

The Met has written letters to the company urging it to rethink its design, as well as to judges handling the lawsuits brought against LG by environmental groups who are lobbying to reduce the building’s height. Larry Rockefeller has also met with LG officials.

“The Palisades really rests at the heart of the conservation legacy, if you will, which our family has left, and is leaving, to America” Rockefeller told the Times. He clarified that he wasn’t opposed to the building itself, “just the design of it being tall and so visible.”

The HOK-designed LG building is expected to be ready by 2016. Company officials confirmed to the Times that concerns were being heard. “We’re very proud of this project,” said LG spokesman John Taylor. “We’re creating an iconic green structure that we think is going to be among the most energy efficient corporate campuses on the East Coast.” [NYT] —Hiten Samtani

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