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A preservation fight has erupted over LG Electronics’ plan to build a headquarters that would compromise the Cloisters museum’s view across the Hudson River. (Photo: Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times)

After John D. Rockefeller Jr. donated land for the Cloisters museum in northern Manhattan, he went a step further in the 1930s and bought the cliffs across the Hudson River in New Jersey to preserve the museum’s pristine view of the Palisades.

Now his grandson Larry Rockefeller; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which owns the Cloisters; and other groups are fighting to preserve that vista, which they say is threatened by a new corporate headquarters to be built in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

As designed, the headquarters for LG Electronics USA, a major employer and taxpayer in that borough, would be 143 feet tall and rise several stories above the tree line.

“The Palisades really rests at the heart of the conservation legacy, if you will, which our family has left, and is leaving, to America,” Mr. Rockefeller, 68, said in a telephone interview from the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, which his family also helped preserve.

“No one’s opposed to the building per se,” he continued. “I’m certainly not. It’s just the design of it being tall and so visible.”


Robin Pogrebin
New York Times