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Chelsea Art Museum Breathing Its Last Breaths?


Looks like it’s time to get to the Chelsea Art Museum while you still can. ArtInfo is reporting that the museum is facing foreclosure after unsuccessfully trying to sell off the space on top of it (“air rights” it’s called) to raise money to keep the place alive and pay its gigantic mortgage. A deal was all set in place and then the floor fell out from under them (metaphorically speaking — the building is still fine). Now the museum is wrapped up in a big lawsuit with a developer and unless something happens soon, their doors will be shut any day now. What with a kindly old museum and an evil bunch of bankers, if you’re looking for an It’s a Wonderful Life-esque story to get behind and do something with that $25 million dollar trust fund you’ve been burdened with, this is probably where you want to go, because it doesn’t get much more heart wrenching than this. Here’s a bit:

A closing was scheduled for April 30, 2006, but [developer Alf Naman], who paid an $800,000 deposit, backed out of the deal. Since then, the museum and Naman have been locked in a court battle that includes a $20 million lawsuit from Naman claiming [museum founder Dorothea Keeser] never came to the closing. In the meantime, Keeser said that she has not been able to repay the mortgage, the loan is in default, and she has paid $2.4 million extra in added interest, fees, and expenses. The bank launched a foreclosure proceeding in October.

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