Once again we are living in the midst of packed boxes. Files have been sorted and archived. The entire ANS Library is stored for transport, and the coins are being packed as I write. Few if any of us thought that the ANS would be moving again, so soon after having settled in downtown Manhattan. But here we go, and while at the moment it’s a little inconvenient, in the long term, this is undoubtedly a positive development.
Our new facility is almost ready. Thanks to our first-rate project managers and dedicated staff, everything is on schedule, and by the time you receive this issue, we will have left 140 William Street. ANS members who do not live in New York or even in the United States may wonder why this move to another location within Manhattan matters to them. It does, and here is why.
Over a year ago, the ANS Board of Trustees, under the leadership of Roger Siboni, made the controversial decision to put the building up for sale and lease a smaller space. Some members found this hard to understand. Twelve months later, the wisdom of this decision is absolutely clear. The fortuitous sale of 140 William Street at the height of the real-estate market boom has provided our endowment with a massive injection of funds. The result has been that, despite a weak financial market over the last few months, we have been able to maintain all our staff, programs, and membership services. This would have been hard to do without the money we received from the sale of the building.
Going forward, the new headquarters at One Hudson Square will provide more space for our events, exhibitions, collections, and visitors, all at a lower cost than 140 William Street did. For the first time since the 1970s, the ANS will have a balanced budget. The improved financial status of the Society will allow us to enhance our publication programs, both online and in more traditional formats. Moreover, from the stable base of our new headquarters, we can also focus on events beyond New York. Several members living outside the New York area have already offered their assistance in arranging for local ANS events. Our first major event outside New York will be hosted in New Orleans, by Trustee Kenneth Harl, in April of next year, and it will be a weekend conference on archaic and classical coinage in which staff and Trustees will participate. We hope in the future to have other events around the country or abroad, and I look forward to suggestions from our members.
We hope to welcome many of our members to our new headquarters. And for those unable to visit in person, we have begun to renovate our other home, the ANS Web site, which will be relaunched in October with a new design and many more membership services. We hope that you will enjoy both of our new homes!
With best wishes,
Ute Wartenberg Kagan
Executive Director, ANS