WhitneyStudio_NYSSFacade_SunnyDay_crNYSS

The Whitney Studio (image courtesy the New York Studio School)

The New York Studio School’s Whitney Studio in Greenwich Village has been designated a “National Treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, according to an announcement from the organization today. The building was constructed in 1877 as a carriage house but was converted by art patron Getrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1907 into a studio and salon.

One of the private rooms of the Whitney Studio, which in 1918 was completely remodeled by artist Robert Winthrop Chanler. The sculptural work spreads from the fireplace up across the ceiling in an explosion of molded plaster flames and modeled creatures from myth and nature. (photo courtesy New York Studio School)

The Whitney Studio’s ornate interior was designed by Robert Winthrop Chanler, whom Whitney commissioned in 1918. Today, the structure and its decorative elements are badly in need of repair and restoration, with the New York Studio School estimating the cost of the project at $2.2 million. The National Trust for Historic Preservation pledged $30,000 as part of today’s designation, which follows the 1992 landmarking of the building and its appearance on the World Monuments Fund’s 2012 watch list.

It remains unclear how the remaining moneys needed for the restoration will be raised. Bonnie Burnham, a board member at the school and the president and chief executive officer of the World Monuments Fund said in a release that she hopes the decision by the National Trust for Historic Preservation “will help raise awareness of the Whitney Studio’s important history and the need for restoration.”

The Latest

Required Reading

This week, Godard’s anti-imperialism, in defense of “bad” curating, an inexplicable statue, criminalizing culture wars, and more.

Mostafa Heddaya

Mostafa Heddaya is the former managing editor of Hyperallergic.