With a $450 Million Expansion, MoMA Is Bigger. Is That Better?

Michael Kimmelman   /  Source:  The New York Times

The museum added 47,000 square feet of gallery space, a spiffy new canopy and a restaurant. “It’s smart, surgical, sprawling and slightly soulless,” our critic writes.

In 1939, the Museum of Modern Art opened its first purpose-built home on West 53rd Street, a taut, rectangular, six-story International Style palazzo clad in Thermolux glass and panels of milky white marble.

Stylish and surprisingly homey, the building, designed by Philip L. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone, replaced four old brownstones. The neighborhood was mostly low-rise and residential back then, full of limestone rowhouses and Beaux-Arts townhouses. The Goodwin-Stone building landed on prewar 53rd Street like a U.F.O., planting the flag for modernism... [+]

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