American Folk Art Museum building gets lifeline from MoMA

American Folk Art Museum building at West 53rd Street
American Folk Art Museum building at West 53rd Street

Following a huge public outcry, the Museum of Modern Art is having second thoughts about tearing down the former home of the American Folk Art Museum, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

MoMA officials announced Thursday that the architects commissioned to design the museum’s expansion now have the leeway to incorporate the folk art building into their plans rather than demolishing it. MoMA was initially looking to demolish the much-celebrated building on West 53rd Street to make room for an expansion that will connect to the 1,050-foot Torre Verre.

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“We have asked MoMA, and they have agreed, to allow us the time and flexibility to explore a full range of programmatic, spatial, and urban options,” architects from Diller Scofidio + Renfro said in a statement. “These possibilities include, but are not limited to, integrating the former American Folk Art Museum building, designed by our friends and admired colleagues, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.”

MoMa bought the folk art building  in 2011, after the American Folk Art Museum defaulted on nearly $32 in million bond debt, according to the Journal. [WSJ]Hiten Samtani