Last night Community Board 8 voted to approve much of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s plan plan to renovate the facade of the museum, a $60 million construction project to be funded by billionaire philanthropist and Tea Party moneyman David Koch, who lives at 740 Park Ave. The board voted to approve plans for new lighting, planting, fountains and kiosks to sell tickets and snacks, but disapproved of the sidewalk chairs and umbrellas aimed at dissuading visitors from sitting on the steps of the museum.
Many unfavorable comparisons were made to Starbucks, and the word “hangout” was bandied about and quite possibly hissed, DNAinfo reports.
There was “no guarantee” that the chairs would discourage people from sitting on the steps, board member Michele Birnbaum said. Nor did she think the people occupying the chairs would necessarily be museum visitors.
“If you build it, they will come,” she said, quoting the Kevin Costner film “Field of Dreams.”
“This will make it a picnic destination.”
The plans head to the Landmarks Preservation Commission next week whose approval, like the community board’s, is advisory rather than binding, then it’s on to the city’s Public Design Commission next month.