The Real Deal New York

MoMA decides American Folk Art Museum is bad fit, will raze it for expansion

April 11, 2013 09:30AM

The Museum of Moden Art will demolish the much-celebrated American Folk Art Museum Building On West 53rd Street to make room for an expansion that will connect to the 1,050-foot Torre Verre, the New York Times reported. 

MoMA officials told the Times that the building’s design no longer fit their plans, since the building’s opaque façade clashes with the glass aesthetic of the rest of the museum. Moreover, the folk museum building is set back farther than MoMa’s other properties, and so the floors would not line up.

“It’s not a comment on the quality of the building or Tod and Billie’s architecture,” Glenn Lowry, MoMA’s director, told the Times, referring to Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, the architects who designed the building.

The planned expansion, Lowry said, would complete the MoMA campus, which will ultimately consist of five buildings, four of Them On West 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues.

Yet to be constructed is the long-delayed Jean Nouvel-designed 1,050-foot MoMA Tower — officially known as Torre Verre — being built by Houston-based developer Hines. The tower has been hamstrung by an inability to secure financing. Construction of the tower is expected to start in 2014, Lowry said, and will be completed by 2017 or 2018. [NYT]  –Hiten Samtani