The former Whitney Museum of American Art will be henceforth know as The Met Breuer. The building with a striking granite presence occupies the southeast corner of Madison Avenue and 75th Street in Manhattan. It was originally composed by Bauhaus-trained architect Marcel Breuer.
To design a third home for the Museum, which had gradually migrated northward from its original location on West 8th Street to West 54th Street, Breuer worked with Hamilton Smith, creating a strong modernist statement in a neighborhood of traditional limestone, brownstone, and brick row houses and postwar apartment buildings. Considered somber, heavy, and even brutal at the time of its completion in 1966 ("an inverted Babylonian ziggurat," according to one critic), Breuer's building is now recognized as daring, strong, and innovative.
It has come to be recognized as one of New York City's most notable buildings and identified with the Whitney Museum's approach to art. The museum is reopened after the process of constructing a new building downtown, designed by Renzo Piano. The new satellite museum on Gansevoort St will mark the Southern entrance to the High Line (New York City) park. The building is scheduled to open in 2012 and will feature over 50,000 square feet of gallery space.