For MAS, It’s Never Just Another Black Tie Dinner . . .
November 6th, 2008, 5:47 pm
For 58 years now, the Municipal Art Society has honored a New Yorker who has made an outstanding contribution to the city of New York. Starting in 1950, this great honor has been bestowed upon an impressive list of personalities including legendary architecture critic, Ada Louise Huxtable (1982), Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., (1991), William (father of Wallace and New Yorker writer) Shawn, Philip Johnson (1983), Senator Moynihan in 1992, and for the revival of Tribeca, Robert DeNiro and Margot Gayle in 1997 and (dare we say it?) Robert Moses in 1959. But the magic of the evening comes in our steadfast and stubborn refusal to hold the event in a hotel ballroom. We pick, every year, a place in New York that is architecturally or historically fascinating. We’ve held the event on an empty floor of the Raymond Hood’s 1931 Art Deco masterpiece, the McGraw Hill building, with candlelight and stunning views. Or, how about our 2001 dinner at Gordon Bunschaft’s late Modernist skyscraper Lever House? Or, in 2006 at the-then partially restored, but still magnificently decorated, Park Avenue Armory. This year is no exception. This Tuesday evening, MAS supporters will enjoy cocktails at the Four Seasons, then dine under a clear tent on the plaza of the extraordinary Seagram Building which celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. The Seagram Building, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and collaborator Philip Johnson, was named by architecture critic Herbert Muschamp to be “the millennium’s most important building.” Writing in the New York Times, Muschamp described the building as achieving “a serenity unsurpassed in modern times.”