More than $50k raised for Nineteeth Century Club injunction fee | News
MEMPHIS, TN- (WMC-TV) - Those in favor of preserving the Nineteenth Century Club in Midtown raised more than $50,000 in injunction bond money.
Supporters of the 106-year-old Union Avenue mansion were given until Monday to raise the money in order to present the preservation case to a judge.
The fundraising began after it was revealed that the sale of the landmark may not have been in compliance with club membership rules. Attorney Steve Mulroy says the club may have violated its own bylaws when the board decided to sell the building without putting it up to a vote by the entire membership.
The bond is necessary to pay for any losses if the preservationists lose the case.
The Children's Museum is now caught in the middle of the battle to save the 19th Century Club from demolition because the money from the sale of the 106-year-old mansion was donated to the museum.
"It's taking away from the children," said Dick Hackett, who is now the Children's Museum Executive Director. "Mr. Mulroy has come to the museum in the lobby, in front of our guests and others and threatened one of our employees."
Hackett says Mulroy made a scene at the museum. Mulroy says that is a gross exaggeration. The former Memphis Mayor says the Shelby County Commissioner threatened that if the museum does not surrender the $435,000 donation then he will sue.
"I couldn't have been more polite," said Mulroy. "I said, "Is there anybody I can talk with? This is time-sensitive. Dick Hackett doesn't seem to be available.' "
Mulroy says Hackett was not returning his calls, so he stopped by the museum to see if he could avoid adding the museum to the lawsuit.
Meanwhile, the porch of the 19th Century Club has turned into a place where homeless people are living. There is a makeshift sleeping quarter, and a sign where someone is going to panhandle for food."
"They're supposed to get lifetime memberships to the museum and the use of office equipment," said Mulroy.
The preservationists will add the Children's Museum to the lawsuit. Mulroy says, win or lose, the museum will get a big donation. There is a bid for $350,000.
Hackett says the museum's largest ever donation is already designated to a new exhibit.
The Children's Museum of Memphis was added late Monday afternoon to lawsuit. The judge extended a hold on demolition for two weeks. The judge will hold a hearing August 26.
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