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The Frick Garden Has Been Saved

Not too long ago, Garden Collage joined the thousands of garden lovers urging trustees at the Frick museum in Manhattan’s Upper East Side to renounce their plan to build over Russell Page’s museum garden as part of the museum’s expansion. At last, our desperate pleas have been met: over the weekend, the board of trustees announced a new plan to expand the museum without demolishing Page’s masterpiece garden.

In June 2014, the Frick Collection in Manhattan announced plans to destroy its beloved 70th Street Garden, which was designed by the 20th Century’s pre-eminent landscape architect Russell Page, and its complementary Reception Hall Pavilion, which was conceived by architects John Barrington Bayley and Harry van Dyke. In place of this landmarked ensemble, the Frick proposed a large addition that would realign with the Frick Art Reference Library of 1935.

“The plan that we are now shelving is one that we really believed in,” said Ian Wardropper, executive director of the museum and a key proponent of the garden’s elimination (the museum plans to unroll a new plan by the end of this year). While the trustee’s ambitions may have been strong, they paled in comparison to the public effort to save Page’s garden, an artwork in its own right whose petition has accrued over 6,000 signers as of this writing.

On June 4, 2015, the Frick Collection announced that it was abandoning its current expansion plan and saving the Russell Page-designed viewing garden from demolition. Unite to Save the Frick, the nonprofit established to save the garden space, vows to remain vigilant as the fate of the Reception Hall Pavilion remains in limbo. Still, the future of the Russell Page garden is secure– fantastic news for garden lovers, art enthusiasts, and Frick fans alike.

Learn more about The Frick Collection here:

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