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Dia's new building at 541 W. 22nd St. in Chelsea
Dia's new building at 541 W. 22nd St. in Chelsea


Sept. 7, 2011

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The Dia Art Foundation may have had some problems out west with its lease on Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, but it’s doing better on the west side. The foundation closed an $11.5 million deal for a new 2,500-square-foot Chelsea exhibition space at 541 W. 22nd St. in June, the New York Observer reports. That’s next door to another Dia-owned building, 545 W. 22nd St., which has long been occupied by Pace Gallery -- a lease that ends next summer. It looks like Dia may still be scheming to return to Chelsea in a big way, perhaps by combing the two spaces, the newer acquisition currently occupied by Alcamo Marble Works, Inc. No plans have yet been formally announced, however.

Dia has had a presence in Chelsea for a long time. Philippa de Menil, Heiner Freidrich and Helen Winkler originally opened the then-called Dia Center for the Arts on 22nd St. in 1987, but closed it in 2004 for repairs. It never reopened, selling instead for $38.5 million in 2007, a building that now houses Zach Feuer Gallery and CRG Gallery. In the meantime, the foundation opened the $50 million Dia:Beacon in 2003 to store its permanent collection.

Dia previously considered opening at the entrance to the High Line, but backed out of negotiations amid the resignation of former director Michael Govan. The new Whitney Museum of American Art building is slated to open in the space instead, in 2015.

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