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Wolfe Whiffed on Lollipop Defense

Architect is still miffed.


The scaffolding is coming off 2 Columbus Circle— Edward Durell Stone’s “lollipop” building—this month in preparation for its reopening as the Museum of Arts & Design. But architect Brad Cloepfil, who designed the renovation, is still smarting over a pair of Times op-eds Tom Wolfe wrote in 2003 attacking the project. “He doesn’t know my work, and he’s never spoken to me,” Cloepfil said at Marianne Boesky’s gallery on March 29. “The building is great. The lollipops are preserved. You can see them through the glass. At night, they’ll be backlit; it’ll be like the ghost of the lollipops.” He’s excited about the new “skin” for the building. “We worked for two years to do a new, iridescent glaze on the tiles,” he said. “In natural light, it changes from purple to gold to blue to white.” As for Wolfe, “he’s a brilliant cultural essayist, but not necessarily an architectural critic,” Cloepfil said. “I don’t think of myself as a novelist.” Retorts the writer: “I’d be happy to take him to lunch and welcome him to New York.”

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