News June 2023

Photo: Christina Horsten/picture alliance, via Getty Images
Breuer Building interior. Photo: Samantha Marsden

Sotheby’s is next for the Whitney Museum’s Breuer building in New York

June 28, 2023

Sotheby’s has acquired the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Marcel Breuer designed building on Madison Avenue with plans to transform the building into a flagship gallery open to the public and the company’s new headquarters. The Breuer building, located at 945 Madison Avenue, opened in 1966 and served as the Whitney Museum’s first permanent home. The building is widely recognized by its gray granite-clad facade that steps out in cantilevers over the avenue and is dotted with angular, periscope-like windows.

Leased to the Met when the Whitney Museum moved downtown in 2015, the Breuer building is currently being used temporarily by the Frick Collection while its primary building is under renovation. The Frick is aiming to complete the restoration in September 2024, and at that time the building will pass to Sotheby’s for a 2025 move in. Sotheby’s plans to reimagine the interior to accommodate necessary salesroom spaces however CEO Charles F. Stewart says the company would preserve the integrity of the building, including the lobby. The architect has not been named. Of note, while the Breuer Whitney is a landmark to many, it is not individually designated. It is within the Upper East Side Historic District which provides most of the same protections.  However the interior is not protected because it is not a designated interior landmark.

“Whitney Museum sells Breuer Building to Sotheby’s for about $100 million,” NY Times, June 1, 2023

“Sothebys to move in and “review” brutalist Breuer Building in New York,” Dezeen, June 2, 2023.