The saga of the Market 5 Gallery continues.
This morning a gallery employee discovered that the historic arts space‘s locks had been changed. This latest drama centers around back rent and other fees the city and its minions claim the Eastern Market gallery owes. It’s the city’s second such eviction push in seven years. You can read the gallery’s own narrative of the disputes here.
Gallery Executive Director John Harrod says he received an eviction letter three weeks ago. The letter stated that he had to be out of the gallery’s North Hall space on Dec. 31. Another letter followed, he says, claiming that he owed $12,000. He says although that figure is in dispute, he quickly wrote a check for $9,000 of the $12,000.
Harrod had planned to take his fight over that sum to court. He says that the figure included bogus maintenance fees and snow removal fees—which the gallery takes care of on its own.
Now, Harrod has another court battle—one that he didn’t anticipate. “It’s obviously illegal,” Harrod says. “You can’t just lock your tenant out. You have to go through the courts.”
“Here we go again,” says Donald Temple, the gallery’s lawyer. “Wrong is wrong. It’s documented that Market 5 Gallery is making a historic contribution.”
The gallery and Harrod have spared with the city over just about everything. Still, the gallery had managed to hang on.
Last spring, Eastern Market went up in flames. But the gallery’s North Hall location had been miraculously spared from the damage.
Now there’s the new locks on the doors.
“We have a couple of performances coming up this week. There’s a tango event on Thursday,” Harrod, 60, says. “I’ll try my best to resolve this before then.”