NEW YORK, NY.- Judd Foundation announced the unanimous support of members of both the Landmarks Committee of Community Board 2 and NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission for the Foundation’s plans to restore 101 Spring Street, the five-storey cast iron building that was the New York City home and studio of artist Donald Judd (1928-1994). This is one of 16 of his private living and working spaces that are maintained and preserved by Judd Foundation in New York and Texas. According to Executive Director Barbara Hunt McLanahan, “This show of support from both our neighbors and preservation professionals is a major endorsement and gives us great hope that we will be able to move forward with our plans for the restoration of the building”.
At a meeting on March 30, 2009, the Landmarks and Public Aesthetics Committee of Community Board 2 reviewed the restoration proposal from Judd Foundation for 101 Spring Street. Among the actions realized was the approval of a certificate of appropriateness for the restoration to be undertaken on the historic 1870s cast iron façade, and the approval for a change of use for the property to allow it to function as a public programming space following the restoration. According to the minutes released by the Community Board, Judd Foundation’s presentation was “the most extensive, laudable and justifiable 74- 711 Request for Change Of Use that has ever been presented, towering over all prior commercial requests in its scope, sensitivity and adherence to the spirit of the law.” The presentation was greeted with unequivocal approval and a unanimous vote of support.
One week later on April 7, 2009, Judd Foundation presented the restoration proposal to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, where Foundation staff and the restoration team spoke on behalf of the plan, and again it received unanimous support. “The proposal to restore the building is excellent, and I applaud the Foundation and its architects for a sensitive, thoughtful approach that will greatly enhance the SoHo Cast-Iron Historic District’s special sense of place,” said Commission Chairman Robert B. Tierney.
As a final step in the approvals process, Judd Foundation will submit the restoration project to the Department of Buildings this year, after which it hopes to receive the necessary permits to begin construction.
In 2001, with funding from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Historic Artists Homes and Studios Program, Judd Foundation commissioned a master plan for the restoration of 101 Spring Street. Since November 2005, a team of experts in the areas of historic preservation, cast iron restoration, and fire and life safety systems have undertaken research and prepared detailed plans for the restoration of the building. Over the next three years, Judd Foundation will implement restoration plans and develop plans for building maintenance and interpretation of its collections. Once the restoration is complete, 101 Spring Street will open to the public with a full schedule of public programs.
In 1968, Donald Judd purchased 101 Spring Street, a cast iron building with Classical and neo-Grec style details designed by Nicholas Whyte in 1870. It was the first building Judd owned, and he had an intense appreciation for its architecture and the surrounding SoHo neighborhood. It is considered to be the birthplace of Judd’s concept of “permanent installation,” now a hallmark of contemporary art, as well as an inspiration for much of Judd’s work. As one of the founding sites in the program of Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, 101 Spring Street is the only intact, single-use cast-iron building remaining in SoHo. This distinction has earned it the highest designation for national significance as a contributing building to the SoHo Historic Cast-Iron District.