Proponents and critics of the Frick’s proposed expansion exchanged heated words over the course of a four-hour hearing held in New York on Tuesday, reported Curbed. In the end, however, Curbed reported the chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which must approve the plan and is reportedly favorable to it, sent the proposal back to the museum and architect Annabelle Selldorf to “refine” it in accordance with “all the suggestions that had been provided at the meeting.”
The Frick announced its planned $160 million expansion, designed by Selldorf Architects, in April. The centerpiece of the proposal is a seven-story building that will sit next to the museum’s reference library, along with other additions, including a subterranean auditorium. While a previous Frick expansion plan was shelved in 2015 over criticism it would destroy the museum’s fabled Russell Page garden, Selldorf’s design leaves the greenery untouched. But critics say the proposed tower is too large and that the plan was put forward hurriedly and without consideration of the local community, Curbed reported. Museum director Ian Wardropper stood by the plan, explaining that it has been in development for five years, and with construction not slated to begin until 2020, there will be plenty of opportunity for further debate before the ground is broken.