The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has awarded $8.1 million in grants to four arts organizations, including $3.5 to the New 42nd Street, which will use the money to support the construction of a 10-story rehearsal and office building on 42nd Street.
The New 42nd Street is a non-profit city and state organization which oversees the development of the historic theatres on the block of 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, such as the restorations of the New Victory and New Amsterdam theatres. The new, $22 million structure will rise on the site of the former Selwyn Office Building and an adjoining piece of property. In addition to office and rehearsal facilities, the edifice will contain a 199-seat, black-box theatre called "Duke on 42nd Street."
Architectural plans for the tower were announced in 1997, but will be revised somewhat in the wake of the sudden collapse of the Selwyn tower last December.
Cora Cahan, head of the New 42nd Street, said all but $5 million of the construction costs have been raised. The largest chunk of it, more than $9 million, comes from public monies provided by the three developers of the buildings at the four corners of Broadway, Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street. That those developers provide nearly $20 million toward non profit ventures on the block was a stipulation of the creation in the '80s of the 42nd Street Development Project.
The new office building will have a groundbreaking sometime in mid October, said Cahan. -- By Robert Simonson