Feb 13, 201410:26 AMPoint of View

MoMA to Preserve Folk Art's Bronze Facade and Stop There

MoMA to Preserve Folk Art's Bronze Facade and Stop There

The building's celebrated facade will be packed up and stored away by MoMA.

Courtesy Michael Tyznik via Flickr

After months of bad press, MoMA has decided to save the Folk Art Museum, or at least pieces of it. According to the New York Times, MoMA will preserve the facade of the Tod Williams and Billie Tsien-designed building. Each of the facade’s sixty-three copper-bronze alloy panels will be stored away, MoMA director Glen Lowry told the Times. But, as Lowry made clear, the museum has no current plans to display or reconstruct the fragments. “We have made no decision about what happens subsequently, other than the fact that we’ll have it and it will be preserved.”

Elizabeth Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, who are designing the MoMA extension that will take Folk Art’s place, dismissed the idea of re-assembling the fragments in situ as a large-scale sculpture (or ruin, depending how you look at it). “We think of buildings synthetically. Facades and buildings and their organization, their logic, are tied entirely together,” the architect said in an interview with the Times. The sentiment runs counter to MoMA’s conciliatory gesture, which amounts to damage control of sorts. Up until now, the museum has been downright blasé about its intention on demolishing “one of the first significant works of 21st-century architecture in New York.”

For several months now, the FolkMoMA tumblr has been collecting creative, if implausible, proposals for how the Folk Art Museum could be saved. The project, curated by Ana Maria Leon and Quilian Riano, aims to spark a dialogue—at times lighthearted and polemical—about preservation and the work of architecture in the new millennium. In light of MoMA's latest decision, recent submissions have imagined the building's facade erected in the Guggenheim rotunda and rubbing shoulders with the Temple of Dendur at the MET. Below, see how twitter is reacting to MoMA's decision. 


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Feb 13, 2014 02:54 pm
 Posted by  eamesaggie

I'm not sure which is more annoying, the MoMA's decision or design media tweeters who never gave a damn about the building until they could make a dumb photoshop rendering of the facade.

Feb 13, 2014 11:00 pm
 Posted by  NOOKA

Really? is not culture in a constant process of flux and evolution? Was not NYC built based on the ethos of change and progress? Nostalgia is a drug best done in private. Then, and only then with personal mementos. if someone really loves and values a building so much, let them buy it or have it moved and let MoMA do what it wants with its purchase.

Feb 14, 2014 10:37 am
 Posted by  emvee

With that as their gesture, MOMA might as well go one step further and sell off the panels, Yankees-Stadium-Seat style, to help fund the construction of the expansion. At least then they'd have a chance of going to "loving" homes.

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