US Stamps

Collectors Club announces move to temporary quarters

Aug 2, 2022, 12 PM

By Linn’s Staff

One of New York City’s — and the nation’s — oldest and most respected philatelic organizations is leaving its landmark home of 85 years and taking up residence in temporary offices until its new permanent home is ready sometime next year.

The Collectors Club, which since 1937 has called 22 E. 35th St. in Manhattan its home, announced last year that it was listing the Stanford White townhouse for sale.

The process of concluding that sale is still underway, but in the interim, the club will transfer its day-to-day operations to temporary offices a few blocks away, on the second floor at 11 W. 42nd St., New York, NY 10036, near Grand Central Terminal. The club’s phone number (212-683-0559) email addresses and website will not change.

The move will take place during August.

Larry Haber, president of the Collectors Club, said he expects the club to be in its temporary facility for about a year until its new home overlooking Bryant Park can be made ready.

The planned location is just behind the main branch of the New York Public Library, where the famous stone lions, Patience and Fortitude, keep watch on Fifth Avenue.

A specialist moving firm, chosen from among four competitive bidders, will carefully pack and store the club’s library, including its periodicals, rare book collection and auction catalogs, along with its art, furniture, document archives and various other paraphernalia, and hold it in storage until it can all be placed in the club’s new home. Valuables have already been removed to a secure vault.

The temporary offices will be able to welcome visitors, with meeting spaces and a small selection of catalogs and periodicals available to browse.

The club’s board decided earlier this year that the burden of maintaining its aging building outweighed the benefits of ownership. Operational costs and capital expenses, both anticipated and unforeseen, were likely to bankrupt the club within a decade.

It was also becoming increasingly apparent that the building was unsuitable for routine use by a generally older membership that requires a proper degree of accessibility. The board accepted the inevitable and voted earlier this year to sell the building, invest the proceeds and lease a more appropriate space.

Haber said the club’s needs will be well-served by its new home, which will enjoy a luxurious panoramic view of a green oasis in midtown Manhattan.

The club will be the only occupant on its floor, and all the amenities — library, lounge, presentation room, conference and seminar rooms — will be on a single floor and fully accessible.

There will be no noticeable interruption in the club’s activities. Its journal, the bimonthly Collectors Club Philatelist, will continue to publish on schedule. The club’s virtual program series will continue as previously planned, with presentations for 2023-24 scheduled to be announced this fall.

The nonprofit Philatelic Foundation, which since 2018 has shared space and some overhead costs with the Collectors Club, also announced that it will be moving during August to a new home at 353 Lexington Ave. in Manhattan. The Foundation’s phone numbers and email address also will not change.

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