Kimmelman warns on Frick

The Frick Collection. (

The Frick Collection. (

Michael Kimmelman, in his “Critic’s Notebook,” has a generally sensible response to the question of what next for the Frick now that its proposed classical expansion has been withdrawn. After wandering around for a while and making some sensible suggestions, he unpacks some ideas. One he’s heard of by Helpern Architects ends up with more space than the jettisoned proposal, partly underground and partly by repurposing space on the second floor. But then he continues:

The Frick might also do well to think out of the box, about acquiring nearby real estate or remaking the library building into a true 21st-century research center, instead of preserving its antiquated book stacks. It might think smaller and smarter. It might think about modern architecture.

Fine, fine, fine … then: “It might think about modern architecture.”

See? Watch out. I said so earlier. Tragedy could still happen at the Frick.

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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