You may have walked past the home of Donald Judd at 101 Spring Street in SoHo without noticing it. That's because for the past several years, protective scaffolding has shrouded the historic five-story cast-iron building where the late sculptor lived and worked for three decades. But last night, the Judd Foundation kicked off a three-year restoration of the building's facade with a "barn raising" fete that coincided with what would have been Judd's 82nd birthday.

[#image: /photos/5853a2fb9c190ec57ac090eb]||||||Rainer Judd and Julie Finch, left; exterior of the Judd building

It was an intimate affair catered by Giorgio Deluca (co-founder of Dean & Deluca), one of Judd's long-time friends. Guests including Kiki Smith and David Zwirner noshed on steak frites and chocolate cake, and were treated to a bagpipe performance. (Evidently, Judd was a lover of the bagpipe.) Later, Judd's daughter Rainer offered friends a tour of her childhood home, which features works by Marchel Duchamp and Frank Stella in addition to Judd's own minimalist fixtures.


The event marked the first public outreach for donations toward the $25 million restoration project. Barbara Hunt McLanahan, the foundation's executive director, explained the expensive undertaking: "There are 1,300 cast iron fixtures in the building and something like 69 windows. Each cast iron piece will be taken off by hand, taken to a foundry, sandblasted and then examined to see if we can restore it."


Judd was very particular about his SoHo space, which he viewed as a "permanent installation." Former wife Julie Finch said she got so fed up with squeezing four people onto a Mies chair that she saved up her own money and bought a brown wide wale corduroy sofa at Bloomingdales. "Judd wasn't pleased, to say the least," she recalled.

101 Spring Street, New York, Second Floor. Judd FurnitureTM © Judd Foundation. Photo credit: Rainer Judd.
101 Spring Street, New York, Fourth Floor. Judd Art/Work © Judd Foundation. VAGA, NYC. Judd FurnitureTM © Judd Foundation Photo credit: Rainer Judd.