MAY 23, 2013
The tragic turn of events on West 53rd Street is nothing less than impending cultural vandalism, made more odious because it will be carried out by a presumed institutional guardian of high culture and contemporary design. As MoMA grows and grows and builds and builds, the destruction of this architectural landmark will not be an irreversible decision until the first sickening thwack of the wrecker’s ball.
The museum says the building will be gone by the end of this year, but there is still ample time for MoMA officials to fully reconsider what this concerted outcry should warn them of: a mistake of epic proportions. If they proceed as promised, their actions may someday be forgotten by the general public; but for those who care about the long view of culture, this needless desecration of an important example of the building art by two of today’s most highly respected architects will remain a permanent blot on the reputation of those responsible for it. Let us hope they change their minds.