Across the country, municipalities are dealing with financial hardships. In dire circumstances, some cities have looked into auctioning off valuable art and artifacts to appease creditors.
Harrisburg, Pa., leaders hope that this month’s auction of Wild West memorabilia will help beef up budgets, according to local paper, The Patriot News…. According to a CNN report, Detroit’s Institute of Arts’ (DIA) approximately 60,000-piece collection may soon be on the chopping block. Although Graham Beal, director of the Arts Institute could not give CNN a definitive value of the collection, he estimated it could be in the billions of dollars….
The city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is gambling that Wyatt Earp’s poker table and other Wild West artifacts will ante up some cash to help the city get back on its financial feet. The fiscally distressed Pennsylvania capital got the green light on Friday to auction off thousands of Wild West artifacts painstakingly corralled by its former mayor for a museum that was never built.
The Mayor’s Task Force on Efficiency in Government has recommended the merger of five city hall departments, and the use of employee performance reviews, as ways to cut costs….The task force recommended: merging the information systems and tax assessor departments into the finance department; merging the personnel, legal and human resources departments; transferring the arts office and building division into the planning department; transferring the parks division and parking department into the public works department; and merging the senior services and recreation departments….
It is the clearest sign of the direction historic preservation may be going: Even a building called Government House, a 19th-century mansion in Baltimore’s Midtown neighborhood, is now in private hands….The 15 properties identified for possible sale or lease include the mansion at Cylburn Arboretum, President Street Station and the Old Town Friends’ Meeting House, which dates to 1781 and is the city’s oldest religious structure. Some properties such as the Upton Mansion and Clifton Park Valve House have fallen into disrepair; others are still being used by city agencies.