DC mayor cancels plan for art museum in historic building

By BRETT ZONGKER Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mayor Muriel Bowser has canceled plans to turn a historic downtown building into an art museum just 13 months after the city selected a developer and team for the project.

The Franklin School has been vacant for years. In late 2013, then-Mayor Vincent Gray selected developer EastBanc and a local art collector to create the Institute for Contemporary Expression with an art space and restaurant by Jose...

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By BRETT ZONGKER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mayor Muriel Bowser has canceled plans to turn a historic downtown building into an art museum just 13 months after the city selected a developer and team for the project.

The Franklin School has been vacant for years. In late 2013, then-Mayor Vincent Gray selected developer EastBanc and a local art collector to create the Institute for Contemporary Expression with an art space and restaurant by Jose Andres.

Bowser’s administration notified the group Monday that it’s terminating the plan. Now the city is seeking new bidders for the site.

Mayoral spokesman Joaquin McPeek says there were concerns about the project’s financial strength. He says the mayor remains committed to the arts and creative economy.

The building is a National Historic Landmark where telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell once conducted experiments.

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