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Author Topic:   Seagram & silver
June Martin
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Posts: 1223
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 06-04-2011 05:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was a beautiful day for a walking tour of Midtown Manhattan Modern architecture that was influenced by women. One of the buildings visited was the Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1958 with Philip Johnson interiors including the Four Seasons Restaurant. The female influence came when Seagram’s CEO, Samuel Bronfman, showed his daughter, Phyllis Lambert, the original design for the building that was to commemorate the centennial of the Canadian distiller. Ms. Lambert did not like the design at all and took on the task of finding the right designer for the project finally selecting the team of Mies and Johnson.

As part of the design of the Four Seasons Restaurant, famed architectural critic, Ada Louise Huxtable and her husband L. Garth Huxtable designed flatware and hollowware for the space. Manufactured by the International Silver Company in Meriden, Connecticut, samples of the serving dishes were donated to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, not far from the restaurant.

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Brent

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iconnumber posted 06-11-2011 02:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very cool, June! Were these pieces actually manufactured for use, or were they just a great idea that never went into production?

Brent

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June Martin
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iconnumber posted 06-11-2011 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi, Brent. I believe they were actually made and continue to be used in the restaurant. But then again, I've never been to the Four Seasons so I can't tell you for sure. Been peppering Scott with hints about taking me there for my birthday. We'll see....

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June Martin
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iconnumber posted 10-09-2011 07:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well I didn't get to the Four Seasons for my birthday but I did go for a drink Friday night with an old friend. Afterward, we popped our heads into the dining room and sure enough, there were the silver serving bowls on each table. So, they are actually still in active use. Very happy to see it! Also very pleased to see the interior space. It is really quite an example of modern design.

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June Martin
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iconnumber posted 04-17-2016 02:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So it is 4 1/2 years after this original post and I am sad to say that the Four Seasons restaurant has lost it's lease in the Seagram building and will be closing the doors there this July 16. The Huxtable tableware is planned to be auctioned off along with furnishings. Perhaps this is a chance to own a bit of history. See article below.
quote:
APRIL 5, 2016, 11:44 AM
BLOOMBERG NEWS | WIRE SERVICE

Manhattan's Four Seasons restaurant, the Midtown dining spot for power brokers, celebrities and well-to-do tourists, plans to close on July 16 following a week of festivities at its Seagram Building home, where it has operated for more than half a century.

The restaurant will probably be without a home for about a year, then move into a new space "about five minutes' walking distance" from its current spot at 99 E. 52nd St., on the south side of the Seagram tower, co-owner Alex von Bidder said. The skyscraper's owner, RFR Holding LLC, co-founded by investor Aby Rosen, decided not to renew the Four Seasons' lease and has started making plans to install a new eatery in the space, designed by famed architect Philip Johnson.

"What we're hoping is that absence makes the heart grow fonder," von Bidder said in an interview. "If you don't have us, maybe you'll miss us and you'll come see us."

The closing will settle a longstanding conflict between the restaurateurs and Rosen, who has regarded the Four Seasons as tired and part of the past. The landmarked space, with its Pool Room and Grill Room, has been home to the Four Seasons since 1959. It was called "the most expensive restaurant ever built" in a review in Evergreen magazine when it opened, soon after the Seagram
Building's completion.

Von Bidder said he plans an auction of some of the restaurant's furniture, including Johnson-designed chairs and tables. Also on the block will be "service items" such as coffee pots and Dover sole pans, some of which were designed by Ada Louise Huxtable, the late Wall Street Journal architecture critic, and her husband, industrial designer Garth Huxtable.

For its final week in the Seagram Building, the restaurant will host charity dinners and a reception for house-account customers. The last meals for the public will be served on July 15 and 16, and there will be a staff party the next day, von Bidder said.

Von Bidder said he and co-owner Julian Niccolini are in talks with potential new landlords and they're optimistic about finding an appropriate new space for the restaurant. The partners have hired CBRE Group Inc. brokers Michael Laginestra and Michael Geoghegan to aid in the search, he said.

Laginestra said the owners are talking with a single landlord and "focusing on a spectacular location that will make all their old patrons happy and create an opportunity for new patrons." Because the restaurant has been so closely associated with a paragon of architecture, great design will be an important part of their choice, he said.

About a year ago, the partners were in talks about relocating to 280 Park Ave., a nearby skyscraper, an executive of building co-owner SL Green Realty Corp. said on a conference call at the time.

Newspapers including the New York Times reported that a move to lower Manhattan was being considered. Von Bidder declined to discuss those or any other possibilities.

Rosen, through a spokeswoman, Roxanne Donovan, declined to address the restaurant's departure from the Seagram Building or his plans for the space afterward. Because the space is a city
landmark, its essential elements will remain for the next occupants.

In July, the Times reported that chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi and a business partner, Jeff Zalaznick, were signed to take over the space once the Four Seasons is gone.


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