The International Center of Photography, New York City’s preeminent photography museum, is, for the second time in its less-than-40-year lifespan, looking for a new home. The center-both a photography museum and a graduate school-is searching for a broker to spearhead its hunt for between 100,000 and 150,000 square feet of commercial space, either within a building or constituting a building of its own.
One possibility, which Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter has floated-but that’s generally considered unlikely-is for the center to occupy the McKim, Mead and White-designed IRT Powerhouse bounded by West 58th and 59th streets and 11th and 12th avenues, which is now occupied by Con Ed, a tenant that has given no indication it is in any hurry to leave.
IRT Powerhouse or not, the school’s current leases, on its Gwathmey Siegel-designed galleries at the Durst Organization’s 1133 Avenue of the Americas and on its campus at Brookfield Properties’ 1114 Avenue of the Americas, both expire in 2013.
Whatever space the school finds, it will undoubtedly be less of a bargain than it enjoys at its current digs-at 1133 Avenue of the Americas, the center pays next to no rent at all, and at 1114, it pays about $1 million a year.
David Appel, a spokesman for ICP, would say only that “we’re keeping all options open, and nothing has been decided at this point.”