"Art and architecture—all the arts—do not have to exist in isolation, as they do now. This fault is very much a key to the present society. Architecture is nearly gone, but it, art, all the arts, in fact all parts of society, have to be rejoined, and joined more than they have ever been."
–Donald Judd, 1986
101 Spring Street
New York, NY
In 1968, Donald Judd purchased 101 Spring Street, a 5-story cast-iron building designed by Nicholas Whyte and constructed in 1870. It was the first building Judd owned, and he had an intense appreciation for its architecture and for the surrounding SoHo neighborhood.
As one of the founding sites in the program of Historic Artists' Homes and Studios for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, 101 Spring Street is the only intact, single-use cast-iron building remaining in SoHo. This distinction has earned it the highest designation for national significance as part of the SoHo Historic Cast-Iron District.
Serving as the New York residence and studio of Donald Judd, 101 Spring Street is considered to be the birthplace of "permanent installation," now a hallmark of contemporary art, as well as an inspiration for much of Judd's work.
Judd's concept of "permanent installation," centered on the belief that the placement of a work of art was as critical to its understanding as the work itself. Judd’s first applications of this idea were realized in his installation of works throughout 101 Spring Street. His installations of artworks, furniture, and museum-quality decorative objects strike an admirable balance between respect for the historic nature of this cast-iron landmark and Judd’s innovative approaches to interior design.
Works on view at 101 Spring Street remain as they were installed by Judd prior to his death. Throughout his writings, Judd identifies the installation of 101 Spring Street as the true source of permanent installation as a practice. In his 1989 essay, "101 Spring Street," he wrote:
"I spent a great deal of time placing the art and a great deal designing the renovation in accordance. Everything from the first was intended to be thoroughly considered and to be permanent."
The dialogue that developed between the building and the artworks within is still palpable to visitors today, who are able to experience firsthand Judd's attention to spatial relationships and the placement of art within the building.