Late last year, the USGA purchased the 57th Street site during bankruptcy proceedings for $16 million. Since then, it has studied the feasibility of moving its museum back to the city where the USGA was founded in 1894 and was headquartered until 1972.
The USGA has learned that New York State law contains unique provisions that provide for oversight of museums by the state's Board of Regents. These provisions mandate the creation of an independent board of trustees who could potentially limit the USGA's ability to control the facility and its collections.
At the same time, it became clear that extensive renovations - including the addition of a seventh floor - would have been necessary to create the type of world-class facility that the USGA sought to establish. Such work would have escalated the total expense of the project to a level that the Association felt was inappropriate.
'Control and cost were the key factors in the equation,' USGA museum director Rand Jerris said. 'For these reasons, the USGA Executive Committee felt it would be best if we discontinued the project.'
The USGA will place the New York City property back on the market. Independent appraisals indicate the Association should be able to recover its initial purchase and subsequent expenses incurred during the project. Meanwhile, the USGA museum will remain in Far Hills.