The archives of the Museum of Chinese in America may be in better shape than feared, after a five-alarm fire destroyed part of the Chinatown building where they were kept.
City workers began the process of recovering the museum’s boxes from the building at 70 Mulberry Street, New York City, on Wednesday. The archives, which boast 85,000 items of historical and cultural significance, were stored on the second floor of the five-story building, where a fire on January 24th destroyed the top floors and roof. Nine firefighters and one civilian suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The NYPD said the cause of the fire was not “criminal” and the investigation is ongoing.
“We are so excited to share that it looks like everything we took out of the building this morning is very much salvageable. Very much salvageable,” said MOCA President Nancy Yao Maasbach at a press conference on Wednesday, adding that 200 boxes had already been recovered. “So we had about 25 boxes get immediately sent to Allentown, Pennsylvania, where they will be immediately (put in freezers), stabilized and then freeze-dried.” The fire did not reach the archival rooms, but Maasbach had said she was most worried about water damage, mold growth and soot.
You can read more in an article by Sophia Chang in the Gothamist web site at: http://bit.ly/2vWo8NK.