Since 1892 the Children's Aid Society has been running nursery, early-education art, summer and other programs out of its Philip Coltoff Center on Sullivan St. in the Village. But that may be about to change. The charity, whose mission is to support low-income families and high-poverty communities, seems to have noticed that its neighborhood, once filled with immigrants and the impovershed, has grown into one of the more valuable neighborhoods in the city. And so the Society is contemplating selling its building (a prime location which "could conservatively fetch a total of between $25 million and $30 million") to focus on those areas in the city that could better use its services.

This of course has parents whose little ones are enrolled in the Society's beloved nursery school (which costs a good ten grand or more less than other nearby programs) bereft, bothered and bewildered. Upon hearing the news "people were crying," one parent told the Times.

The decision to pack up shop and sell the building hasn't been made yet—the board will take a vote on the issue later this month—but that doesn't mean some parents aren't already trying to use the root of the problem, their cash money, to keep the program in place. Their argument? "The decision was shortsighted and might cut Children’s Aid off from an affluent donor base of local families."

The rumor that NYU might buy the property also has the Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation concerned. GVSHP executive director Andrew Berman said, "The loss of the Children's Aid Society, an institution which has been in this community for over a century, would be tragic. If its buildings were to be sold prior to landmark designation, it would likely lead to their demolition and replacement with either a condo or dormitory high rise, which would compound the tragedy. We are urging the city to keep its long overdue promise and move ahead with consideration of this area for landmark designation right away."

Having actually attended the Children's Aid summer programs when we were wee, we have to say we find this news depressing but not that surprising. And there is something wonderful to be said for a charity that sticks by its mission. If Children's Aid leaves the Village it will be sad and we'll get teary, but it is hard to argue against the great things that the Society could do with the money from selling its Village home.