6. There Were Wild Alternative Plans Envisioned for the Whitney Location on 75th Street

1985_Before-Whitney-Storefront-of-Art-and-Architecture-Submission-NYC-That-Never-Was-3Before Whitney submission by Eric Fiss (New York, NY), 1985. “Whitney Goes Pop”. Courtesy Storefront for Art and Architecture.

In 1985, the Whitney Museum for American Art proposed a 10-story, $37.5 million building to serve as an addition to the museum. Designed by Michael Graves, the expansion was intended to give the Whitney the space to comprehensively display 20th century American art, with specific galleries dedicated to artists such as Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Alexander Calder. The design was immediately divisive, causing debate largely over the relationship between Graves’ proposal and the existing Breuer building.

1985_Before-Whitney-Storefront-of-Art-and-Architecture-Submission-NYC-That-Never-Was-4Submission by Eugene Tsui (Berkeley, CA), 1985. “The New Whitney”. Courtesy Storefront for Art and Architecture.

Six months after the Whitney announced the expansion plans, Storefront for Art and Architecture held Before Whitney, an exhibition of alternative designs.

The above text is from a previous article written for Untapped Cities by Storefront, where you can see more renderings of this competition.