American Irish Historical Society HQ For Sale

991 Fifth Avenue, home of the American Irish Historical Society, is on the block

By Ray O'Hanlon

Every building on Fifth Avenue has a number. 991 Fifth Avenue is, however, more than just a number.

It is the headquarters and home for the American Irish Historical Society. And it is for sale.

The listing price, according to the Wall Street Journal, is $52 million.

For many years the AIHS at 991 has been a jewel in the Irish American crown in terms of location, architecture, and its centrality to Irish American culture and life.

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In recent times the AIHS has been battered by argument and controversy. The building, as buildings do, has remained mute.

On Tuesday, January 26, however, words were being said on its behalf.

Said a statement from the AIHS: "The American Irish Historical Society is placing its present headquarters at 991 Fifth Avenue on the market. The building, which has been the Society's headquarters since 1940, was designed by James R. Turner and William G. Killian in 1901 as a private residence and has had three previous owners.

"Before moving to 991 Fifth Avenue, the Society was based first at the old Manhattan Hotel, then the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and then at 132 East 16th Street. The AIHS is a cultural and scholarly organization devoted to making better known the history of the Irish in the United States as well as to celebrating the riches of Irish culture globally.

"The decision to place the building on the market has been made in order to best enable the Society to pursue its cultural and scholarly mission in a sustainable manner. The Society has selected the firm of Brown Harris Stevens to represent the sale of the property."