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SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

Donation of the Mayer House in New York City

Mr. Ripley stated that about a year ago Miss Clara Mayer, learning of the Smithsonian's plans for the Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration, wrote to express her desire to donate her brownstone house at 41 East 72nd Street to the Smithsonian, along with an endowment of $100,000, in order to preserve an examples of the style of interior decoration of the last decades of the 19th century. The first two floors are remarkably fine period pieces in substantially their original condition, while the basement (kitchen and large breakfast room) and two two floors (bedrooms and bath) have been modernized. The building is in good condition. It is considered that the period rooms are worth preserving and the the house would be quite useful as a meeting place for Smithsonian activities in New York, such as the Cooper Union Museum. In answer to a question relating to the use of the house, Mr. Ripley explained that definite plans had not yet been formulated but that various council, Trustee, and board meetings of Cooper Union would be held there as well as lectures and symposia related to the decorative arts.

Mr. Ripley stated that the Smithsonian would not be bound to maintain the property indefinitely and would receive an asset of considerable value, both in use or in the event the property were sold. 

The conditions set forth in the Secretary's letter of December 18, 1967, to Miss Clara Mayer (attached), were acceptable to the Board of Regents.

On motion by Mr. Greenewalt, seconded by Mr. Brown, and carried, it was 

VOTED that the Board of Regents accepts the offer of Miss Clara Mayer to transfer the  property at 41 East 72nd Street, New York City, including such furnishing as she may select, to the Smithsonian Institution in fee simple as soon as practicable. The Institution also accepts her offer to give $100,000 as endowment for the maintenance of the property. The conditions of the gift are set forth in a latter dated December 18, 1967, addressed to Miss Mayer by the Secretary.
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