CFAF Young Patrons Tour the Judd Foundation

On 03.26.14, the Center for Architecture Foundation Young Patrons Committee ushered in Spring with a tour of the Judd Foundation followed by a reception at Garis & Hahn Gallery on the Bowery. Despite the bitter cold, 40 attendees gathered in SoHo for a guided tour of the recently restored Judd Foundation at 101 Spring Street, the former home of the late artist Donald Judd and his family. The restoration of the five-story building, designed by Nicholas Whyte and completed in 1870, was led by Architecture Research Office/ARO with exterior restoration architect Walter B. Melvin Architects (the project won an Architecture Honor in the 2014 AIANY Design Awards).

Jay Gorman, the construction manager from Sciame, did a wonderful job of describing the intricate details of the project, the last single-use cast-iron building in SoHo. Some walls could not be touched because Judd himself incorporated his work into the space, following his own principles of artwork being site specific. Windows needed to be upgraded and the mottled view through the original float glass windows was impeccably reproduced in Germany. Over the years, pieces of cast iron had fallen from the façade and were individually collected by Judd; Sciame handsomely restored the façade using these fragments. The view out to the SoHo skyline through those windows is a work of art in its own right. There is a fascinating dialogue balancing reverence to the building as it was found and the transformation of spaces and surfaces.

After the tour, the Young Patrons reconvened at Garis & Hahn for drinks and reflection. The work of Zefrey Throwell was exhibited in a project titled “Dream Battles,” a conversation about pop culture icons through mixed-media paintings. Throwel pairs some of the most notable celebrities and icons of the past century, from The Rocky Horror Picture Show vs. Goldman Sachs to Woody Allen vs. the Nazis, as a reaction to his trip to Auschwitz. Throwel was on hand for the event to answer questions about his exhibition and share a drink with the Young Patrons.

Thanks to the hard work of our committee and the generosity of the Judd Foundation and Garis & Hahn, the Young Patrons Committee raised more than $1,400 for Learning By Design:NY. The committee is developing more events for the summer and fall, so stay tuned for exciting news from the CFAF Young Patrons!

Christian Murphy is Development Assistant at the Center for Architecture Foundation.