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NYC's Iconic Four Seasons Restaurant Wins James Beard Design Award

The classic space, designed by Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, is a midcentury masterpiece

The restaurant world's premier awards will honor one of New York, and the country's, most iconic restaurant interiors. The Four Seasons in Manhattan, the iconic Modernist dining room in the Seagram's Building, will receive a Design Icon Award at the 26th annual James Beard Foundation Awards Gala, taking place on Monday, May 2, 2016, at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

The space, which opened in 1958, was designed by Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe for their client, design director Phyllis Bronfman Lambert. Featuring flatware and glassware by Ada Louise and L. Garth Huxtable and furniture by Mies van der Rohe, the space has become a design icon—the Museum of Modern Art features more than 100 of the restaurant’s elements in their permanent design collection—and helped elevate the concept of American fine dining.

"It is an honor to award The Four Seasons Restaurant the first ever James Beard Foundation Design Icon Award," said James Biber, chair of the Restaurant Design Awards Committee, in a statement. "In introducing generations of diners to modern elegance and luxury, The Four Seasons forever changed restaurant design, even as it remained virtually unchanged itself."

Sadly, the award comes at what may be the end of the restaurant's life (though it is an interior landmark, which limits future changes). Owner Aby Rosen has stated that he will allow renovations of the space when the lease runs out in July. New York restaurant group Major Food Group, behind spots like Carbone, Dirty French, and Santina, is already scheduled to move into the iconic space this summer.