Whitney Museum’s Historic Gansevoort Market District Arts Program Undergoes New Renewal

A popular public art program in New York’s historic Gansevoort Market District has been reauthorized for another decade.

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) voted 10-0 this week to approve an application of the Whitney Museum of American Art to continue its Public Art Series program, in which large-scale reproductions of artworks are temporarily mounted on the side of an apartment building across Gansevoort Street from the museum.

The commission first approved a program in 2015 that called for the display of artwork on the west coast side facing Gansevoort Street at 95 Horatio Street, a former cold store completed in 1935 for the Manhattan Refrigerating Company and converted into apartments in the 1980s.

The initial certificate of suitability, issued on December 10, 2015, called for the compositions to be displayed in rotation in a 17-by-29-foot frame installed on part of the second and third floors of the former neoclassical warehouse, plus a plaque on the street level identifying the works on display. The images in the frame are reproductions of the originals but enlarged on photo-printed vinyl. The authorization period expired on December 8, 2021.

To LPC public hearing of January 4, museum officials asked permission to continue the art program, showing two works a year, each remaining on display for about six months at a time. The commission voted to grant a certificate of adequacy for another 10 years, after which the museum could apply for another extension.

The Whitney’s program is a collaboration between the museum, West Coast owner TF Cornerstone, and High line drawing. The program featured works by Alex Katz; Michele Abeles, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Christine Sun Kim, Derek Fordjour, Do Ho Suh, Andrea Carlson, Jill Mulleady and Lucas Blalock, among others.

Several curators have praised the museum and its programming.

“So much public art, I think, is sort of unmoored, if you will,” commission vice-chairman Frederick Bland said. “But it’s so moored. It’s right across from the Whitney, and the Whitney is the curator of this art, so that seems particularly fitting to me.

“We all enthusiastically support the program here,” added President Sarah Carroll. “It’s been an incredible success and we can’t wait to see it continue.”

Kayleen C. Rice