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National Academy Museum's Fifth Avenue Home Hits the Market for $120M

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Facing insurmountable financial woes, the arts institution is forced to sell its longtime HQ

The stately buildings that for over half a century have made up the National Academy Museum and School along Fifth Avenue quietly hit the market over the weekend asking $120 million. The academy announced its plans in March to offload its Museum Mile headquarters, which the institution says has become too expensive to maintain.

A representative for the museum says that the sale will allow the National Academy to create an unrestricted endowment that will help them find a new home, fund the institution in perpetuity, and help it climb out of debt. The properties were appraised at $107 million in 2012.

Included in the listing is an L-shaped structure made up of two interconnecting townhouses at 1083 Fifth Avenue and 3 East 89th Street, and the 65-foot-wide school building at 5-7 East 89th Street.

The townhouse at 1083 Fifth Avenue was built speculatively and purchased by Archer Huntington in 1902. Huntington hired architect Ogden Codman in 1913 to renovate and expand the house into the L-shape it takes today, which also included reworking the buildings interior and original red brick facade into a "more sophisticated French town-house design," per a 1998 NYT Streetscapes article.

Huntington, an exorbitantly wealthy art patron, donated 1083 Fifth Avenue as well as 3 and 5 East 89th Street to the National Academy in 1940. Using proceeds from the sale of 1082 Fifth Avenue, which the National Museum acquired then sold off in 1959, the academy built the school annex that now stands at 5 East 89th Street.

The property is being marketed as "an exceptionally large blank canvas" that could continue to be used as a cultural institution and education facility, or as a boutique condo conversion or "truly historic, one-of-a-kind single family residence." The townhouse at 1083 Fifth Avenue still features much of its original architectural details, including a domed rotunda, wood paneling and intricate wood floors, and marble fireplaces.

The buildings are offering 42,078 square feet of existing above ground space with 12,122 square feet of below grade space. The listing is not accompanied by photos, but Google offers a 360-degree tour of the Fifth Avenue museum. The museum will remain open until June, and the school will operate until the building sells.

National Academy Museum & School

1083 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128 (212) 369-4880 Visit Website