The architectural world can breathe a little easier. Yesterday, New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Committee shot down Aby Rosen’s proposed interior re-do of the legendary Four Seasons restaurant in Park Avenue’s Seagram Building. Phyllis Lambert, who in the 1950s oversaw the creation of the structure for her father, Samuel Bronfman, testified that Rosen’s plan “would do irreparable damage to the two great rooms” designed by Philip Johnson. Co-owner Alex Von Bidder added, “The Four Seasons is greater than the sum of its parts….In a masterwork like the Four Seasons, few of us really know [what] can be cast aside.” Rosen was undeterred, still threatening to remove an iconic bronze and glass partition installed by Johnson and kick out restaurateurs Von Bidder and Julian Niccolini when their lease expires in July 2016. As he told the Times, (NYT 20/05/15) “Someone should have gotten up to say, ‘I want to congratulate Mr. Rosen, who has the financial wisdom to save something great in this town.’ I’m going to do what I think should be done. I’m spending 20 million bucks restoring it.”
ORB SAYS: Rosen should think twice about destroying a beloved New York institution just to maximize profits. To downgrade the magic won’t go down well with the Powers That Be.