Page Six reports the first party was held at the Landmark Rooms at the Seagram Building on Saturday night, the former location of the Four Seasons. Twenty-five members of the Bronfman family plus Rem Koolhaas, Elizabeth Diller, and Ricardo Scofidio were in attendance.
The party was for the 90th birthday for Phyllis Lambert, who orchestrated the Four Seasons interiors, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson. Throwing a party for her here is a big deal, since she was the primary critic of potential renovations. “It seems that critics of the change have embraced the new project,” wrote Emily Smith, “and the restoration work done by new owners Mario Carbone, Jeff Zalaznick, and Rich Torrisi, of Major Food Group, and partner/landlord Aby Rosen.”
Lambert is an architect and the daughter of Samuel Bronfman of the Seagram family that built the building and held a stake in the Four Seasons, owned by Alex Von Bidder and Julian Niccolini. In 2015, Lambert penned an Op-Ed in the New York Times critical of potential renovations of the restaurant, proposed by landlord Aby J. Rosen’s RFR Holding — “several disastrous alterations,” like opening a panel of the French walnut wall, changing the proportions of the Pool Room, and, in the Grill Room, replacing a glass partition with planters.
“The beauty of the Four Seasons, and its significance as an architectural landmark, is precisely in those details,” she wrote. “It is like a symphony: Every instrument has its place. Remove one part, and the ensemble collapses.”
In the end, the changes in the dining areas were minimal, the Times confirmed last week. The kitchen, however, did get a makeover: “Gutted and retiled, it will be divided into two separate kitchens, bustling with two separate staffs.”
The Grill at the Landmark Rooms is slated to open in March (says Page Six) or April (says the Times). The Four Seasons will open later this year at 280 Park Ave.