In this issue:
· World Monuments Fund Lists Three NY Buildings in Danger
· Historic Armory Undergoes Restoration
· Cornell Adds New Wing to Pei’s Art Museum
· Zen Buddhism, Sustainability Are at One in the Catskills
· Expanded Military History Museum Now Largest Museum in Germany

World Monuments Fund Lists Three NY Buildings in Danger


(L-R): 510 Fifth Avenue; New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture; Orange County Government Center.

Courtesy World Monument Fund

The World Monument Fund released its 2012 World Monuments Watch List of 67 sites representing 41 countries and territories worldwide. Two buildings are in Manhattan, and one is in Orange County, NY. At the former Manufacturers Trust Building at 510 Fifth Avenue, designed by SOM’s Gordon Bunshaft and completed in 1954, the list emphasizes that the future of the building could serve as a touchstone for the effectiveness of preservation legislation and policies in the U.S., and of the government agencies charged with their enforcement. Though designated a NYC landmark in 1997, with additional landmark protections for the interior designated in early 2011, original interior features have been removed as it undergoes adaptive reuse. The New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture in Greenwich Village, assembled by the American sculptor and art collector Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney is on the list because it played an important role in early 20th-century American artistic production.

Poor maintenance practices, exacerbated by Hurricane Irene flooding, have led to the deterioration of Paul Rudolph’s 1970 Orange County Government Center, in Goshen, NY, giving more fuel to the county’s call for its demolition and replacement. Launched in 1996 and issued every two years, the Watch List provides an opportunity for sites and their nominators to raise public awareness and advance effective solutions.

Historic Armory Undergoes Restoration


Park Avenue Armory.

James Ewing

The Park Avenue Armory recently unveiled designs by Herzog & de Meuron for its renovation, restoration, and transformation. Encompassing the entire five-story building, the multi-year project will create new resources and a diversity of spaces for artistic, educational, and public programming, as well as artist-in-residence studios and rehearsal rooms. Restoration includes: the 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall and former rifle range; 18 period rooms on the first and second floors in the adjacent head house; all public circulation spaces, including the grand hallways, staircase, and new elevators; office space on the third floor; a fifth-floor rehearsal space; and back-of-house facilities on the lower level. In addition, two restored period rooms on the second floor — Company D and E, both originally designed by Pottier & Stymus — were revealed. The firm’s approach includes the addition of new lighting elements, furniture, and surface treatments that complement the building’s original detailing in furtherance of the armory’s mission to create and present visual and performing art that cannot be realized within the limitations of traditional performance halls and white-wall museums.

Cornell Adds New Wing to Pei’s Art Museum


The David A. and Rochelle Hirsch Lecture Lobby in the new wing of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University (left); the west façade of the new wing, with the north façade of the original building.

Robert Barker, University Photography (left); David O. Brown, Johnson Museum of Art (right)

On the heels of the recent opening of the OMA-designed Millstein Hall, Cornell University in Ithaca is now prepping for the opening of the newly renovated Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. The new addition, designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects, adds 17,165 square feet to the 61,000-square-foot, I.M. Pei, FAIA-designed building that opened in 1973. The extension features a 150-seat lecture room, a workshop studio, new galleries, art storage, and office space. Several areas of the museum have undergone concurrent renovations. The fifth-floor galleries of Asian art, also known for 360-degree views of Ithaca, are now reconfigured with 50% more square. Additional spaces are being renovated to create a photography study and storage space. The museum is the only full-service art museum within a 60-mile radius. Of note: both the renovation and the addition are the work of associate partner John L. Sullivan III, who served as design architect on the original I. M. Pei building.

Zen Buddhism, Sustainability Are at One in the Catskills


Sangha House.

Kliment Halsband Architects

Construction has begun on the Zen Mountain Monastery’s new Sangha House, an 8,500-square-foot, multi-use building designed by Kliment Halsband Architects. Located on 230 acres of forest preserve in Mount Tremper in the Catskill Mountains, the Sangha House is composed of three elements — a long, narrow, two-story component for visitor and communal facilities; a 100-seat Hall of the Arts; and a two-story central circulation and exhibition space that opens onto a sculpture garden. The building has been designed to minimize reliance on fossil fuels and its impact on the natural environment. It will be constructed of timber and bluestone gathered on site, and a solar panel array is planned for the roof of the Hall of the Arts that will provide at least 50% of the energy for the building. The new building joins the monastery’s four-story Main House, built in a Scandinavian arts-and-crafts style in the 1930s, a designated national and state historic landmark.

Expanded Military History Museum Now Largest Museum in Germany


Military History Museum.

Studio Daniel Libeskind

Studio Daniel Libeskind’s extension to Dresden’s Military History Museum is set to open this week. Founded in 1897, it will be the largest museum in Germany now that the extension is complete. The design comprises a five-story, 200-ton wedge of glass, concrete, and steel that slices through the center of the original structure and interrupts the building’s symmetry. A 98-foot-high viewing platform provides views of both the city and the source of the fire-bombs that devastated it during World War II. The exhibition space, designed by Holzer Kobler Architekturen (Zurich) and HG Merz Architekten (Berlin and Stuttgart), reflects the architectural contrast between the museum’s two parts — the history of Germany’s military in the form of a timeline in the existing building, and the military’s lasting impact on society throughout the ages expressed in a themed tour. The exhibition space contains roughly 7,500 items ranging from the smallest pin badge to a space capsule.

R.I.P.: Despite best efforts from preservationists, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) announced its intention to demolish Terminal 6, I.M. Pei’s “Sundrome,” at JFK International Airport.

Friends of the East River Greenway, a coalition of non-profit organizations, announced that local and state officials have signed off on the plan to complete the East River Greenway from 38th Street to 60th Street using funds generated by the U.N. build-out.

“Civic Action: A Vision for Long Island City” presents scenarios created by four teams led by artists Natalie Jeremijenko, Mary Miss, Rikrit Tiravanija, GeorgeTrakas for the community where Long Island City and Astoria, Queens, converge. The results of this eight-month process will be on view through 04.22. 2012 at the Noguchi Museum. Further realized components of each team’s proposal will be exhibited in Socrates Sculpture Park in May 2012.

A retrospective of work by Richard Meier, AIA, featuring a selection of models, original sketches, renderings, and photographs will open 10.20.11 at the Contemporáneo de Monterrey, in Mexico. Projects featured in “Richard Meier Retrospective” include the Smith House, The Getty Center, The Neugebauer Residence, the Jubilee Church, Perry Street Towers, the High Museum of Art, the Ara Pacis Museum, and the recently completed Arp Museum in Germany.