Dec 22, 2014

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Cooper Hewitt Museum Reviewed in Arch Record

Fred Bernstein writes:

The Cooper Hewitt is now a far better place to view design than it was before its three-year, $81 million renovation. Since 1976, the museum has occupied a spectacular Fifth Avenue mansion, built by Andrew Carnegie in 1902 and itself a decorative-arts showcase. But the American equivalent of Downton Abbey, even as renovated by Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates 40 years ago, wasn’t a great place to exhibit new design. The galleries (landmarked spaces that cannot be altered) outwitted curators’ attempts to make shows legible against their dark and ornate surfaces. For years, there was talk of creating new galleries under the lawn behind the mansion. Then Gluckman Mayner Architects came up with a more realistic plan, which involved making better use of the existing building....

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