May 22, 2013
The Folk Art Museum in New York City, by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. Photo: Ozier Muhammad for NYTimes.
When the news broke that MoMA was planning on demolishing the former American Folk Art Museum, the design community responded with a gigantic petition to preserve the architectural gem, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, which had only opened in 2001. Fortunately, the fierce reaction looks to have stymied the Goliath neighbor-next-door from bulldozing. Or perhaps MoMA brass took notice of the revival of Arrested Development, the cult TV comedy premiering a final season on Netflix seven years after Fox prematurely canceled it. (Yeah … just go with it.)
But unlike TV shows, when it comes to architecture, once the building explodes, there’s no wrangling up cast members for a reunion. Which is why it’s so important to fight to save buildings; just take a look at the at-risk Robin Hood Gardens, which has managed to stay standing (so far) thanks to petitions signed by the likes of Richard Rogers and Zaha Hadid.
So, a cautionary tale: We’ve gathered a list of 11 buildings that we think were demolished too soon. Lament their demise? Think they deserved to R.I.P.? Or have other suggestions for buildings that should have been renewed for another season? Let us know in the comments section below.