Despite it’s introverted nature, the Breuer building, over time, has developed a friendly relationship with its brownstone neighbors, amassing a mutual respect for each other. As Goldberger writes: “The brownstones help the Breuer building appear to exist in a world of its own.”
Graves’s proposed demolition of the brownstones was met with outrage, and was ultimately dropped from consideration.
Koolhaas, in turn, kept the brownstones while adding a contorted growth reaching out of their roofs. “They [the brownstones] were treated as an opportunity to display art within the scale of space for which it was created,” OMA said in its proposal. “The greatly expanded area for the permanent collection will be housed in the existing buildings. Pre-war art displayed in brownstones will recall the original West 8th Street Whitney. Post-war art, usually much bigger, would be displayed in the Breuer building.”