New Co-op for The Morgan's New Director

A new job in a new city generally leads to the stressful search for a new apartment, hopefully affordable with a convenient commute to the office. This search can take weeks, months even, before one finds a place that is just right.

Not so for the incoming director of The Morgan Library & Museum. Dr. William M. Griswold was appointed to the role in May, after Charles E. Pierce Jr. announced his plans to retire. When Dr. Griswold takes over in 2008, he will be welcomed by a $3.25 million apartment right down the street from his office.

The Morgan’s purchase showed up in city records last week. The duplex co-op at 114 East 36th Street, a townhouse building, has two bedrooms, three and a half baths, three marble fireplaces, a wet bar, and a handcrafted wrought-iron staircase connecting the two floors, according to the listing with the Corcoran Group. The co-op had been on the market since May with no change in price, according to StreetEasy.

Patrick Milliman, the director of communications and marketing at The Morgan, told The Observer the board of trustees decided to buy the place to house directors nearby the museum and library. Mr. Milliman said Dr. Griswold would have to pay rent on his new digs but couldn’t disclose the amount. He also wouldn’t comment on the director’s salary.

But The Morgan hasn’t been shy with investments. After a $106 million expansion and renovation completed in 2006, a $3 million apartment must seem like a drop in the bucket. Now Dr. Griswold must make the most of them both.

With a specialty in Italian master drawings, Dr. Griswold was most recently employed as the director of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. But he is not a stranger to New York: Dr. Griswold began his career as the assistant and then associate curator of drawings at The Met from 1988 through 1995 and then worked at The Morgan as the head of the department of drawings and prints through 2001. City records during that time link him to an apartment on the corner of 19th Street and Second Avenue.

His new apartment will shorten his commute substantially.