Dia Art Foundation Buying Up More Space for Impending Return to Chelsea

09/08/2011 1:34 PM |

541 West 22nd Street, future site of the Dia Art Foundations new building.
  • 541 West 22nd Street, future site of the Dia Art Foundation’s new building.

The Dia Art Foundation‘s former West 22nd Street home may have been sliced up into new spaces for a bunch of local galleries, but the upstate-relocated modern and contemporary art institution’s plans for a new building in Chelsea are moving along swiftly. In addition to the large, low building at 545 West 22nd Street that it currently leases to the Pace Gallery, and which is two doors down from the building where Dia maintains its New York City offices, the foundation recently bought the small building in between at 541 West 22nd Street, the former home of Alcamo Marble Works (pictured).

The Observer casually let news of the Dia purchase drop in a “Where Are They Now” article about museum expansionist Tom Krens published on Tuesday:

The Dia Foundation just completed an $11.5 million purchase of a new building site in Chelsea (it will be the site of an all-new N.Y.C. Dia).

ArtInfo gets a few more specifics about the purchase of the 5,000 square foot building, which was finalized in June. Dia’s director of external affairs Katie Sonnenborn comments that the purchase was “too good an opportunity to pass up,” though she declines to predict a possible opening date.

The Pace Gallery’s lease at 545 West 22nd Street has just been extended by six months, though, so the earliest that construction could begin on Dia’s new Chelsea space is June of 2012. It’s also unclear whether the current buildings at 541 and 545 will remain or, more likely, be demolished to make way for a brand new and taller building. Along with the forthcoming Whitney Museum move to the Meatpacking District, Dia will provide a much-needed major non-profit presence in the Chelsea art scene—one made all the more urgent by the apparent demise of the Chelsea Art Museum.