An Interview with Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa on the Status of the New IAM

Jan 12, 2019 430

As we begin 2019, what can you tell us about the status of the new museum? Now that we have removed the Banca Stabile artifacts (vault, teller cases, light fixtures and deposit table) and placed them in storage, the demolition of the existing buildings has begun. The developer has erected scaffolding along the Mulberry and Grand Streets sides of the existing buildings. The anticipated building completion is by the end of this year.

What effect do you think the new museum will have on Little Italy, whose “shrinkage” has been the subject of news stories? Once the building is completed, we will begin assembling artifacts in the new museum and expect we will have a grand opening in Spring 2020. It is our hope the new IAM will become a community nexus, much like Banca Stabile was in its heyday. Of course, our focus will be history and culture. More to the point, IAM will be a permanent neighborhood anchor to help ensure Little Italy will always be an important and vibrant part of New York City. We owe a lot to the long-time businesses that have remained. The museum may be in the heart of Little Italy, but the Italian merchants are its soul. 

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SOURCE: Italian American Museum

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