For Terry Teachout, apparently it's to have someone else pay for his enthusiasms;
The interior of the Four Seasons was designated as a landmark in 1989, meaning that it can't be altered without official approval.
End of story…right? Not even close.
Because "Le Tricorne" is a painting, it's not a physical part of the Seagram Building. So even though it's now owned by the New York City Landmarks Conservancy, it's not covered by the landmark designation—and Aby Rosen, a real-estate developer whose company, RFR Holding, owns the building, wants to move it. RFR is claiming that the wall on which "Le Tricorne" was hung by Johnson is in imminent danger of collapse and needs to be rebuilt.Later Mr. Teachout says;
The power to declare a building an architectural landmark is not to be wielded lightly. Constant change is necessary if a city is to remain culturally vital. But some buildings are indisputably important enough to deserve that status, and if there's any building in New York that fills the bill with room to spare, it's the Seagram Building. Likewise the Four Seasons, which is as significant a landmark in the history of midcentury modernism in New York as Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum. It deserves to be preserved—and even though a technicality prevented "Le Tricorne" from being covered by its landmark status, everyone who's seen the painting knows perfectly well that it, too, is an essential part of the design of the Four Seasons Restaurant. It's one of the cultural glories of Manhattan.Bold by HSIB in the above.
Bad enough that Mr. Teachout thinks that his feelings should override the Constitutional protection for private property--not to be taken for public purposes without just compensation--but that, hey, what's a technicality like the difference between a building and a piece of art hanging within a building...among us art snobs?
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