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News July 2016

Celebratory farewell for The Four Seasons

July 20, 2016

A Modern Affair, our June 15 gala at The Four Seasons Restaurant, was a witness to history both momentous and bittersweet. With the Modern landmark closing permanently on July 16, design community luminaries gathered to honor architect and philanthropist Phyllis Lambert, whose vision enabled the creation of the landmark interior space, and to bid farewell to the restaurant itself.

The Four Seasons opened in June of 1959, a soon-to-be signature tenant in the Seagram Building, which had been completed a year earlier. Philip Johnson led the design effort for the restaurant having worked with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as design architect and Kahn & Jacobs as associate architects on the Seagram Building. Johnson collaborated with artists Richard Lippold (sculpture), L. Garth and Ada Louise Huxtable (tableware), and Richard Kelly (lighting) for The Four Seasons interior, which is among a relatively small number of designated New York City interior landmarks and has remained significantly intact since its completion.

Well over 100 members, supporters, out-of-town visitors and luminaries enjoyed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and non-stop conversation. Event co-chairs Meredith Arms Bzdak and Tami Hausman, together with chapter president and committee member John Arbuckle, welcomed guests. Elizabeth Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (designers of the former Brasserie Restaurant on the lower level of the Seagram Building, which closed at the end of 2015) provided introductory remarks that demonstrated her genuine affection for the space and the honoree. The highlight of the evening was, of course, Phyllis Lambert, who offered her own observations and recollections on the making of The Four Seasons. A splendid evening and one that will likely live on in the memories of those who attended, as will The Four Seasons, one of New York’s most esteemed Modern places.

We thank all those who contributed to A Modern Affair’s great success.

To see photos of the event use the “VIEW GALLERY” link at right. All photos © Aislinn Weidele.

A Modern Affair, June 15, 2016, The Four Seasons. All photos ©Aislinn Weidele
John Arbuckle, Phyllis Lambert, Tami Hausman and Meredith Bzdak
Phyllis Lambert during her remarks