Plans To Sell New York’s Italian-American Museum To Property Developer

| Tue, 07/02/2013 - 09:30

words by Carol King Officials at the Italian-American Museum in New York’s Little Italy are looking to sell the building to a property developer, according to ‘The New York Times’. The sale is to raise funds for the three-storey museum and to give it the chance to expand. The building is not landmarked and the zoning lot allows for an 85-foot building. The museum’s founder and president,
Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa, told the ‘The New York Times’ he expects the property to fetch approximately US$12 million. The Italian-American Museum is located at 155 Mulberry Street in the heart of New York’s Little Italy. The historic location on the corner of Mulberry and Grand Streets once housed Banca Stabile founded by Francesco Rosario Stabile in 1885. During its heyday, the bank offered Italian immigrants more than financial services: it was a link to their relatives in Italy. It offered a telegraph, travel via steam ships, import-export, a notary public and a post office. Scelsa hopes any future owner will allow the 1,000-square-foot museum to occupy a larger space rent free inside any new structure. He also wants any buyer to preserve the building’s original details, such as the bank’s vault and teller cages. The Italian-American Museum grew out of ‘The Italians of New York: Five Centuries of Struggle and Achievement’ exhibition held in New York City in 1999. It received its charter in 2001.