New York Magazine has a special issue this week on the Greatest ____ in New York. In a discussion of the greatest New York building, Justin Davidson, Winka Dubbeldam, Bernard Tschumi, Robert A.M. Stern and Barry Bergdoll brought up the importance of museums to New York’s architectural vibrancy:
Davidson: So is one criterion for evaluating a building’s New Yorkiness how much it transforms its surroundings?
Stern: Not necessarily. The Guggenheim didn’t spawn one bit of development on the Upper East Side. It’s still a dull neighborhood. And the New Museum didn’t change the Bowery; it was riding a trend.
Tschumi: It was following the Lower East Side art world.
Bergdoll: We tend to think of the New Museum as connected to artists, but it’s also connected to collectors. It’s a big business. Really, the New Museum is a brilliant rewrite of the Whitney, which also followed the art world. Both opened up the sidewalk and changed the dynamic of the skyline. […]
Davidson: Okay, we’ve discussed a lot of skyscrapers. Do we have any other candidates
Bergdoll: I’m going to go with the Whitney.
Dubbeldam: Oh, you beat me to it! The Whitney! I’ve said that for years! I love the potted plaza below street level, and the little bridge. It’s one of the most beautiful buildings in New York.