Past Presidents Recommend Selling WILPF Building in Philadelphia
Below you will find the actual letter written by the Past Presidents. To view in pdf format the entire body of material submitted concerning the sale of the Race Street building, please click on the two links immediately below.
April 3, 2008
Dear WILPF Board Members,
In late January of 2008, Chris Morin as President and on behalf of the Board, requested the Past Presidents Committee to explore the possibility and ramifications of selling the national office building at 1213 Race Street in Philadelphia. We were asked to make a recommendation as to whether to sell the building and if the recommendation was to sell the building, to come up with different office space options. We understand that the Jane Addams Peace Association (JAPA) owns the building and has indicated on numerous occasions that they would not sell the building unless encouraged to do so by US WILPF.
Over the past several months the Past Presidents Committee has taken on this task with great seriousness. We have researched and discussed these questions in depth.
Below is a summary of our recommendations accompanied by a full report citing supporting documents and listing the considerations that went into our decisions:
We strongly advise the current Board to ask JAPA to sell the Race Street Building.
The reasons for selling the building clearly outweigh the reasons for keeping it. While no one on this committee professes to have exact knowledge of the current commercial real estate market in Philadelphia, all of us know that it could take months to find a buyer. Therefore we urge that the recommendation to JAPA to sell the building be made now.
A number of past boards have explored selling without following through. We believe the time is right in terms of the real estate market and WILPF's situation of transition. To pass our recommendation to the next board is not only to delay the decision but to take their valuable time to examine the recommendation.
Buying another building at this time is premature. The Board should look into interim office arrangements to cover the time between the sale of Race St. and whatever decision is made for a long-term office location.
The Board should form a committee to look into interim office arrangements for up to the next year, particularly preparation for the time between the sale of the Race St. building and the decision and action on obtaining a long-term office location, while plans for staff stabilize.
The Board should form another committee to research options for a long-term office location using the criteria agreed upon by the Board. We suggest that at least one member of the current board be on these two committees, with additional members made up by the next board since the work will necessarily carry over.
We hope that when the property at 1213 Race Street is sold, the revenue generated by the sale could be used toward rental of office space for WILPF.
We wish to thank the Board for bringing us together as past presidents, to provide counsel for your deliberations. As stated in the report's concluding remarks, many of us did not know one another before taking on this project together. It has been an experience that we all have enjoyed immensely.
We hope to be of service to WILPF again.
Marii Hasegawa 1971-1975
Naomi Marcus 1975-1977
Marjorie Boehm 1977-1981
Yvonne Logan 1981-1985
Anne Ivey 1985-1989
Mary Zepernick 1989-1993
Jean Gore 1993-1996
Betty Burkes 1996-1999
Phyllis Yingling 1999-2002
Darien De Lu 2002-2004
and Sandy Silver 2002-2005
Tamara James 2005-2007