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George Washington University Offers Corcoran’s Fillmore Building for $14 Million (plus: preservationists’ challenge) CORRECTED

George Washington University’s media relations office today announced this new development related to the controversial GWU-Corcoran-National Gallery deal that I just posted about:

TTR Sotheby’s International Realty announced that it will serve as the exclusive listing agent for the former Corcoran College’s Fillmore building, which the George Washington University plans to sell this upcoming year. GW took control of the property as part of the historic agreements with the National Gallery of Art and the Corcoran last summer….

The Fillmore building consists of a historic schoolhouse and more than one acre of land in Georgetown. It was built in 1893 and sold to the Corcoran College as design space in 1998. The building will be listed at $14 million [emphasis added], and reviews of purchase offers are expected start in April.

Fillmore School

Fillmore School

The hoped-for $14 million would be added to the $43 million that GWU received along with the keys to the Corcoran. Some $35 million of the $43 million will be used to renovate classroom and studio spaces in the Corcoran’s 17th Street building. That money came from proceeds of the Corcoran’s deplorable deaccessions of rugs and carpets in June 2013. The remaining $8 million came from endowment funds and will be used to operate the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design (successor to the Corcoran College of Art + Design).

GWU estimates the total renovation cost for the Corcoran’s 17th Street flagship building at about $80 million. As I previously posted, there is as yet no estimated timeframe for this work to be completed.

The sale of the nearby Fillmore building was discussed during the DC Superior Court hearings (which I attended) that led to approval of the Corcoran Gallery’s and Corcoran College’s dissolution. The tripartite agreement stipulated that any proceeds from the Fillmore’s sale be used for renovations of the Corcoran’s main building and for operations of the Corcoran School.

Classes will continue at the Fillmore until the end of this spring’s semester, after which they’ll move to the 17th Street building “and other locations, as needed, on GW’s campuses,” according to the university’s announcement.

GWU’s announcement also relayed this Corcoran-related news:

On Feb. 26, the D.C. Historic Preservation Board will hold a hearing to consider an application from Save the Corcoran and the D.C. Preservation League that would designate large portions of the 17th Street building as historic. GW has said it supports maintaining the building’s history and will submit its approach to preserving key historical elements of the building to the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board.

If the preservationists prevail, GWU might be limited as to what it could do to reconfigure and repurpose some of the former museum’s spaces for classrooms and other university-related functions.

The controversy continues…

CORRECTION: Due to an error in the information sent to me by GWU’s media relations office, a previous version of this post provided the wrong date for the Historic Preservation Board’s hearing. As my post now states, the date of the hearing is Feb. 26.

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