Arts Desk

Corcoran Board Votes Unanimously to Explore Sale of Building

Corcoran Gallery May Sell Building, Move to Alexandria

The Corcoran Gallery of Art's board of trustees voted unanimously yesterday to find out what price its historic building near the White House could fetch if the museum sold it.

In a meeting that extended into the evening, the board made no decision whether or when it might sell its Beaux-Arts building at 17th Street and New York Avenue NW, according to a source at the Corcoran. The source was not authorized to speak about the meeting and requested anonymity.

Corcoran board chair Harry F. Hopper III and museum president Fred Bollerer also released a statement yesterday evening, framing the issue as a moment of opportunity while noting several problems—some longstanding and some new. The statement reads that the museum requires $100 million in renovations—a figure that nearly rivals the building's $112 million assessed value. An even larger figure emerged in a report yesterday from The Washington Post's David Montgomery and Jacqueline Trescott, who got comments from Bollerer and Hopper yesterday after City Paper first reported the news. According to the Post, Bollerer said it would cost $130 million to bring the Corcoran up to "modern museum standards."

There are no changes planned for upcoming exhibition. At the end of June, the Corcoran opens "Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series," a major survey of the painter's Santa Monica abstractions made from 1967 to 1985.

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