News | May 5, 2011

The Morgan Library Receives Preservation Award

New York, NY, May 4, 2011— The Morgan Library & Museum announced today that the 2010 restoration of its original library, popularly known as the McKim building, has been honored with an award for Excellence in Historic Preservation from the Preservation League of New York State. The building was constructed in 1906 as the private library and study of the museum's founder, Pierpont Morgan, and is considered a masterpiece of celebrated architect Charles McKim.????

The Preservation League's statewide awards program honors notable achievements in retaining, promoting and reusing New York State's irreplaceable architectural heritage. The Morgan's award will be presented at the Preservation League's Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony in New York City on Thursday, May 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the historic New York Yacht Club.????

"It is an honor and a privilege to receive this award from the Preservation League," said William M. Griswold, Director of the Morgan, who guided the project from its inception. "The McKim building is, in many ways, the heart and soul of the Morgan. The goal was to incorporate new lighting and exhibition elements within this historic building in as sensitive a manner as possible. The restoration facilitated the exhibition of more than 300 items from the Morgan's permanent collection of rare books and art—a tenfold increase over what was previously displayed.

"????The Italianate marble villa, designed in the spirit of the High Renaissance, is considered one of New York's great architectural treasures, and its rooms are regarded as some of the most beautiful in America.

????In addition to new lighting to better illuminate the building's extraordinary murals and decor, the project also included the opening of the North Room to visitors for the first time, installation of new exhibition cases to house rotating displays of masterpieces from the Morgan's collections, restoration of period furniture and fixtures, and cleaning of the walls and applied ornamentation.

????In announcing the award, Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League, said, "As one of the Awards Jurors noted, 'this project is impressive because it is subtle.' Others remarked that this was a great project of highest quality, with new systems to make the historic spaces in this significant museum and library complex more accessible. We are pleased to have the opportunity to honor the magnificent work undertaken at this National Historic Landmark, New York City Landmark and Interior Landmark."

????As leader of the project, Mr. Griswold was assisted by Jennifer Tonkovich, curator of Drawings and Prints at the Morgan, who coordinated the reinstallation of collection objects; Stephen Saitas, of Stephen Saitas Designs, who consulted on exhibition design; and Richard Renfro, of Renfro Design Group, Inc., who provided lighting design expertise. The architect of record was Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, LLP.????

The project was made possible through the generous support of Gail and Parker Gilbert, Louise and Lewis Lehrman, Katharine and William Rayner, Jeannette and Jonathan Rosen, Beatrice Stern, Suzanne and Jeffrey Walker, and an anonymous donor.????

The Morgan also gratefully acknowledges a grant from the Booth Ferris Foundation, which supported earlier structural work on the McKim Building.????

The Preservation League's Excellence in Historic Preservation awards program is funded by a generous grant from the Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Foundation of Miami, Florida.????

By leading a statewide preservation movement, sharing information and expertise and raising a unified voice, the Preservation League of New York State promotes historic preservation as a tool to revitalize our neighborhoods and communities, honor our heritage and enrich our lives.

????The Morgan Library & Museum
??The Morgan Library & Museum began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan, one of the preeminent collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States. Today, more than a century after its founding in 1906, the Morgan serves as a museum, independent research library, musical venue, architectural landmark, and historic site. In October 2010, the Morgan completed the first-ever restoration of its original McKim building, Pierpont Morgan's private library, and the core of the institution. In tandem with the 2006 expansion project by architect Renzo Piano, the Morgan now provides visitors with unprecedented access to its world-renowned collections of drawings, literary and historical manuscripts, musical scores, medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, printed books, and ancient Near Eastern seals and tablets. ????

General Information
The Morgan Library & Museum
??225 Madison Avenue, at 36th Street, New York, NY 10016-3405
Hours??Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; extended Friday hours, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. The Morgan closes at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.????Admission??$15 for adults; $10 for students, seniors (65 and over), and children (under 16); free to Members and children, 12 and under accompanied by an adult. Admission is free on Fridays from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is not required to visit the Morgan Shop.

The Morgan Library & Museum
Patrick Milliman
Sandra Ho