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November 11, 2014

1973 Promise About Garden Could Hinder Frick Expansion Plan

Preservationists opposed to a planned six-story addition to the Frick Collection building in New York City have seized on what they say was a pledge by the art museum 41 years ago to make permanent a garden that would be lost in the expansion, writes The New York Times. The city's Landmarks Preservation Commission is slated to consider the Fifth Avenue museum's proposal next year.

Unite to Save the Frick, a consortium of groups fighting the plan, uncovered documents from a 1973 landmark review in which the museum said it intended to make the garden designed by noted landscape architect Russell Page "a permanent feature" of its campus. Frick director Ian Wardropper said the word "permanent" in the statement was used in terms of the "foreseeable minimal needs of the collection." Museum officials say the addition is needed to accommodate attendance that has risen by 37 percent over the last five years and holdings that have grown by 75 percent since the museum opened in 1935.