2006_01_21_armory.jpgOh snap! Antique dealers, the Times reports, are in a huff over the fate of the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue and 66th Street. The Armory, which was built between 1877 and 1881, has rooms designed by Louis C. Tiffany and Stanford White and it's interiors have been described by the Landmarks Preservation Committee as "the single most important collection of 19th century interiors in one building." But in recent decades it has fallen into some disrepair. And so many were pleased when it was announced that the Armory will be transformed into an institution for the visual and performing arts after a multi-million dollar renovation. And that sounds like a good thing, right? Not exactly, a number of art and antique dealers are arguing.

You see, as part of it's transformation the Armory is going to lose two-thirds of its "programming currently devoted to arts, antiques and craft fairs." Considering how much of it's programming that currently is, that's a lot of loss for many dealers who claim the city has no comparable space for their kinds of shows. What of the Javits Center you wonder? "It's the kiss of death all the way out there," one dealer told the Times "It's great for refrigerators or cars, but not for art." Not to mention the fact that "within a 10-block radius of that building, there is probably more money than anywhere else."

All of this sounds a bit silly to us. While we'll admit the shows up at the Armory are good for the city, the space really is perfect for some large-scale performances and theater. And anyway, all that really matters to us is that some good money is going to be spent to refurbish another great city building.

Photograph by Marilyn K. Yee for the New York Times.