The Landmarks Preservation Commission may have no taste buds, but the Guggenheim has no taste at all.
The museum had proposed marring its singular Frank Lloyd Wright building by adding a hot dog stand to the entryway of the structure. The argument was that it was more sightly than the hot dog vendor who has been parking himself out front for years. The museum even hired top-notch architect Andre Kikoski to design the thing, he of the James Beard Award-winning Wright restaurant that recently replaced the old cafeteria.
Kikoski designed a cat eye-shaped structure tucked under the museum’s canopy, which the commission voted down 9-0 yesterday. The Architect’s Newspaper was on the scene:
“While I admire the design and find the material selection interesting,” said Fred Bland, a commissioner and principal at Beyer Blinder Belle, “at no level can I accept the design. The quality of the museum and particularly the cantilevered entrance would be violated.” Chairman Robert Tierney concurred: “All the standards by which we judge applications are not met in this proposal.”
It is not as though the commission was being unfair, as it oversaw the massive expansion of the museum in 1992 and its more recent top-down renovation, which even encompassed such niggling details as the proper shade of paint Wright originally intended (answer: Tnemec BF72 Platinum). Even were the museum to put a Shake Shack inside, it is impossible to see how such an aggressive addition could ever be deamed acceptable.