Well, file this under things we hope don’t actually come to pass: Free Williamsburg reports today that beloved Bushwick institution 3rd Ward—home to artist’s studios, countless classes, newly-opened restaurant Fitzcarraldo, and one of Brooklyn’s most thriving creative communities—will be shutting its doors as of Friday.
The news (still not 100% official) comes on the heels of what was apparently an unsuccessful recent fundraising effort (their Fundrise account is currently at $375,000 of its stated $1.5 million goal), a loss in revenue over the course of 2013, and unexpectedly heavy startup costs for their new Philadelphia location. They’re still officially seeking an “immediate minimum investment of approximately $1.5 million” for the next two days, but Free Williamsburg’s source says that they’ll in all likelihood be shutting down operations at the end of the week, with Fitzcarraldo remaining open and studios and co-working spaces now operated by the site’s landlord. We’ll update with more information as it comes in, but in the meantime, here’s hoping for some kind of last-minute windfall. We’d really hate to lose this place.
Update: The Observer reports that 3rd Ward actually closed last night, and a source wrote into the site:
“Apparently there’s foreclosure or bankruptcy (rumors are flying), but they are putting it on lockdown tomorrow morning – rumors of shutting down of electricity even by midnight… there’s thousands of members that don’t know about the shut down, and a huge amount worth of art and personal supplies from Brooklyn members- some of whom have called the studio home for more than 6 years…
update: last staff person is on duty tonight and he just announced wood shop, metal shop, classrooms and photo studio will all be shut down (tonight?) and power cut.”
No update as of yet on reimbursements for studio space rentals, or any particular protocol for clearing out workspaces.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.