The Corcoran Gallery of Art (Image via

Washington, DC’s Corcoran Gallery of Art will be remaining in its historic building after all, backing off from plans it had been developing to sell its aging Beaux-Arts structure, which it has resided in since 1897, and move out to the city’s suburbs.

A release from the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art and Design states that the trustees “resolved that they will now focus only on approaches that keep the museum in the building” and expect to come to a decision on how to move forward “within the next three months.”

The museum is exploring possibilities like collaborating with “like-minded institutions” in preserving the Corcoran’s original location, which is in need of a $130 million renovation, reports The Washington Post.

That suggestion brings to mind the Whitney’s recent decision to have the Metropolitan Museum take over its Marcel Breuer building after they move to a new, larger location in the Meatpacking District, rather than simply abandoning or selling the space. Like the Whitney, the Corcoran is part of the artistic fabric and community of Washington, DC, and moving it would damage that ecosystem.

In October, students installed a giant 4SALE sign in the Corcoran School of Art’s windows, protesting the possible move. It seems as though it’s now off the market for good.

Mimi Carter, the Corcoran’s vice president of communications and marketing, outlined the board’s three current priorities as, “Creating a sustainable future, staying in the building, and preserving the Corcoran legacy,” in a phone call to Hyperallergic.

The board’s tone has changed, she said, because “a number of options” that were previously not present have come to the table, after the board spent June through December collecting and analyzing hard data. These new options focus principally on developing institutional partnerships and collaborations, Carter explained.

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Kyle Chayka

Kyle Chayka was senior editor at Hyperallergic. He is a cultural critic based in Brooklyn and has contributed to publications including ARTINFO, ARTnews, Modern Painters, LA Weekly,...