Why is this building significant?
In the first decades of the 20th century, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney assembled this group of eight mid-19th-century buildings, using one as her personal studio and providing many working artists with studio space and exhibition opportunities. The complex, given a distinctive pink stucco façade, served as the original home of the Whitney Museum of American Art from 1931 to 1954. These historic, light-filled spaces returned to active use by artists when the New York Studio School, founded by painter and educator Mercedes Matter in 1964 with the support of students and founding faculty members such as Alex Katz and Philip Guston, bought the building.
What did the New York Landmarks Conservancy do?
The Studio School received a $250,000 matching grant from New York State in 2009 for the restoration of the street façade. We gave the Studio School a low-interest loan to meet the match and added a $10,000 grant. We helped find a new preservation architect when the original one was unable to complete the work. The Conservancy also provided grants of $20,000 in 1999 for roof and parapet work; $5,000 in 2008 for probes of decorative plaster work in the Whitney Studio; and $5,000 in 2023 for restoration work in the Whitney Studio.