Artist Caryn Kunkle has a plan for the Divine Lorraine: turn it into an interactive museum of contemporary art using eminent domain to take the property over. Though this plan has been circulating since April of 2012, it looks like there's movement ahead.
The petition speaks in grand terms: creating a museum of contemporary art in the Divine Lorraine will
"...create jobs, boost inter-disciplinary education, ignite international tourism, rescue the Divine Lorraine, and unite a fractured community! Most importantly it will impact the way children of the future have access to the arts, which are so threatened in our public schools today." Ms. Kunkle originally proposed this idea to the public in a video entitled "Vessel in a Ruin". By November of 2012, articles about the Divine Lorraine indicated that Ms. Kunkle and Eric Blumenfeld (the Divine Lorraine's current owner) were working together on integrating a museum of contemporary art into Blumenfeld's plans to turn the building into condos. The current petition, however, calls for the hotel to be taken using eminent domain, and sold to the team behind the hypothetical (for now) Philadelphia Interactive Museum of Contemporary Art. The petition also asserts that "condos... will be impossible to make profit from due to the crippling costs of repairing The Divine Lorraine...".
The change.org petition, which went live yesterday, currently has 203 signatures.
· No One Is Using The Divine Lorraine For Anything, So We Might As Well Put Some Art In There [Philebrity]
· Declare Eminent Domain on The Divine Lorraine in Philadelphia for an Interactive Museum of Contemporary Art [Change.org]
· Divine Lorraine to Be Museum of Contemporary Art? [Curbed Philly]
· All Divine Lorraine News [Curbed Philly]