The Irish Consulate in New York City wants the American Irish Historical Society (AIHS) to reconsider selling 991 Fifth Avenue as it's an "iconic emblem of Ireland in New York."
“We are aware that the premises of the American Irish Historical Society at 991 Fifth Avenue has been put up for sale," The Irish Consulate in New York City, a part of Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs which works to foster relations between the US and Ireland, said in a statement on January 29.
“The American Irish Historical Society, a registered not-for-profit organisation, is a cherished symbol of the profound relationship that has grown between our two countries through the centuries.
"While the Society is more than its premises, the building on Fifth Avenue is an iconic emblem of Ireland in New York and a vital part of the infrastructure that underpins US-Ireland relations.
“We are concerned and disappointed to hear of the news that the Society intends to sell this building.
“We urge the Board of the AIHS to reconsider this decision, and we stand ready to engage in finding a constructive solution that meets the needs of the community and other stakeholders.”
In April 2020, the AIHS launched a GoFundMe in order to "bridge the current emergency and carry the American Irish Historical Society and its work forward into a sustainable future." At the time of publication, the fund has raised less than $3k of its $100k goal.
991 Fifth Avenue, the longtime home of the American Irish Historical Society on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, was put on the market earlier this week for $52 million.
Regarding the sale of the building, the AIHS said: "The decision to place the building on the market has been made in order to best enable the Society to pursue its cultural and scholarly mission in a sustainable manner."
Brown Harris Stevens, the New York-based real estate brokerage firm who is handling the sale of 991 Fifth Avenue, said in a statement announcing the sale: “The American Irish Historical Society is placing its present headquarters at 991 Fifth Avenue on the market.
"The building, which has been the Society's headquarters since 1940, was designed by James R. Turner and William G. Killian in 1901 as a private residence and has had three previous owners.
"Before moving to 991 Fifth Avenue, the Society was based first at the old Manhattan Hotel, then the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and then at 132 East 16th Street.
"The AIHS is a cultural and scholarly organization devoted to making better known the history of the Irish in the United States as well as to celebrating the riches of Irish culture globally."