ICP Focuses on Its Future—Signs Deal with Delancey Street Associates to House Its Museum and School at Essex Crossing

Lower East Side Unification Slated for Completion in 2019
Oct 09, 2017
Lower East Side Unification Slated for Completion in 2019

The International Center of Photography (ICP), the world’s leading institution dedicated to photography and visual culture, today revealed its plans to reunite the ICP Museum and ICP School in one location on the Lower East Side. The center will be housed on Ludlow Street and will serve as the cultural anchor of Essex Crossing, a $1.5 billion mixed-use project. Essex Crossing is being developed by Delancey Street Associates, which comprises Taconic Investment Partners, BFC Partners, and L+M Development Partners.

The ICP School, which serves more than 3,500 students each year, will make the move downtown in summer 2019. The ICP Museum will also shift from its current space at 250 Bowery to Essex Crossing in early 2019, following the close of its fall 2018 exhibition program.

“We are thrilled to be reuniting the ICP Museum and the ICP School under one roof. This is something towards which we’ve been working for nearly twenty years,” says ICP Board President Jeffrey Rosen and ICP Board Chair Caryl Englander. “It’s gratifying to bring this exciting goal to fruition.”

“ICP is that rare institution in today’s cultural landscape—we exhibit, we collect, and we educate. Thanks to the vision and support of our board, the synergy between these different elements of our mission and our identity will be strengthened by this move,” says ICP Executive Director Mark Lubell. “Our Essex venue will continue to reinforce our ties with the vibrant Lower East Side arts community. It enables us to look forward to an exciting future for both ICP and the neighborhood as a whole.”

“From the very beginning, we’ve been committed to building a project that both reflects and enhances the rich cultural tradition of the Lower East Side,” said Paul Pariser, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Taconic Investment Partners. “Aligning our cultural goals with the Lower East Side’s burgeoning arts scene wasn’t a simple task: we wanted to find a world-class institution, but also an organization that would be accessible to the community, from practicing artists to schoolchildren and their families. ICP will deliver that rare blend to the LES, and really help make Essex Crossing the beating cultural heart of the neighborhood.”

“Arts and culture are at the heart of what makes New York City great, so we couldn’t be more excited to welcome the International Center of Photography home to Essex Crossing as a cultural anchor,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President James Patchett. “With this new addition, Lower East Side residents and visitors will soon be able to enjoy a world-renowned museum, photography school, and the historic Essex Street Market—all just a block apart.”

Upon completion, Essex Crossing will include 1.9 million square feet of residential, commercial, and community space on nine sites across six acres that had sat mostly vacant since 1967. The project, expected to be complete by 2024, includes 1,079 residential units—more than half affordable housing—and represents one of the most significant urban renewal developments in the history of New York City.

The addition of ICP positions the project as the new focal point for the arts in a neighborhood with a venerable cultural history, and is one of several ways Essex Crossing will engage a thriving LES arts scene. Just across Essex Street from ICP will be the Market Line, an expansive, bazaar-like marketplace spanning 700 feet along Broome Street at the base of three new buildings that will include 350,000 square feet of Class A office space and a mix of rental and condominium units. At 150,000 square feet, it will be one of the largest marketplaces in the world, and a third of it will be devoted to the local arts, including gallery and performance space. Delancey Street Associates is also working with LES street artists to facilitate large-scale installations within the Market Line and at several exterior locations.

In addition to the arts, the Market Line will include a blend of local fashion and food vendors and a beer hall, and be anchored by the new home of the Essex Street Market. The current market remains open for business until next fall, when its vendors will move into their new state-of-the-art space. The first phase of the Market Line will also open next spring.

ICP’s new home will be a four-story building, running a full city block between Ludlow and Essex. The center will also occupy two additional floors in the adjacent residential building at 242 Broome, a 14-story, 55-unit luxury building designed by SHoP Architects and currently under construction. The residential portion of the building is scheduled to open in early 2018.

Classes for the ICP School will continue at the Midtown location through June 2019. The fall 2018 exhibition will be on view at the current ICP Museum location through mid-January 2019. Full schedules to be announced at a later date. Other locations, including ICP at Mana Contemporary (Jersey City, NJ); ICP-Bard MFA Studios (Long Island City, NY); and the ICP Community Partnerships (various locations throughout NYC) will continue to operate in their current locations and roles.

The ICP/Essex Crossing deal was facilitated by the highly experienced real estate law firm DLA Piper and the space will be designed by Gensler, a top-ranked architecture firm known for its work in the art and culture space, including ICP’s current Midtown location.

About ICP

The International Center of Photography (ICP) is the world’s leading institution dedicated to photography and visual culture. Cornell Capa founded ICP in 1974 to preserve the legacy of “concerned photography”—the creation of socially and politically minded images that have the potential to educate and change the world—and the center’s mission endures today, even as the photographic medium and image making practices have evolved. Through its exhibitions, school, public programs, and community outreach, ICP offers an open forum for dialogue about the role that photographs, videos, and new media play in our society. To date, it has presented more than 700 exhibitions and offered thousands of classes at every level. ICP brings together photographers, artists, students, and scholars to create and interpret the realm of the image. Here, members of this unique community are encouraged to explore photography and visual culture as mediums of empowerment and as catalysts for wide-reaching social change. Visit icp.org to learn more.


Meryl Cooper (ICP), press@icp.org, 917.974.0022
James Yolles (DSA), james@risaheller.com, 646.676.4488




Press Release