Sotheby's to buy the Breuer Building in New York

The Breuer Building in New York is to be acquired by famed auction house Sotheby's, it's been announced

part of breuer building concrete facade
(Image credit: Max Touhey)

The famous Breuer Building is going to be acquired by established auction house Sotheby's, it has just been announced in New York. The celebrated landmark of modernist architecture is set to become the home of the auction house by 2025.

'The acquisition of the Breuer building is an ongoing part of Sotheby’s strategy to grow and enhance its global footprint in order to better serve existing and new collectors across its wide range of collecting categories,' write Sotheby's representatives.  

side exterior view of the breuer building

(Image credit: Max Touhey)

The Breuer Building: a history

The Breuer Building was designed by modernist master Marcel Breuer. It was completed in 1966 and its brutalist architecture facade has become visual shorthand for arts in the city. It has, till now, belonged to the Whitney Museum of American Art. Located at the corner of Madison Avenue and 75th Street, the structure is well known for its inverted ziggurat shape. 

Interior Lobby of the Breuer Building

(Image credit: Max Touhey)

'We are honored to acquire and write the next chapter of such an iconic and well-known New York architectural landmark. We often refer to the provenance of artwork, and in the case of The Breuer, there is no history richer than the museum which has housed the Whitney, Metropolitan and Frick collections,' said Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart. 

interior of breuer building

(Image credit: Max Touhey)

The Breuer Building: the future

Sotheby's plans for the Breuer are to turn it into a state-of-the-art gallery and exhibition space. It will serve as a showcase for the auction house's wide range of offerings, and will eventually include 'a reimagined signature auction room, exhibitions spanning Sotheby’s 71 categories across fine art and luxury.' Sotheby's plans also promise that the icon's original intention and nature will be preserved. 

Once Sotheby's moves in, the building will be free and open to all visit. 

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).