Mark Miller Gallery Closes After Nearly 2 Decades on Orchard Street

Posted on: January 29th, 2016 at 5:12 am by
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A quick stroll past 92 Orchard Street of late reveals that the Mark Miller Gallery is quite empty. Behind those floor-to-ceiling windows, the showroom is blank. And dark. No longer in existence.

Eponymous owner Mark Miller – who also owns the photogenic tenement – hung up the business within the last couple weeks. The closure concludes nearly two decades of the gallery at this address. Reason given – exhaustion.

“I decided to take a break from the gallery to have more time to focus on my real estate business and have more free personal time,” Miller tells us in an email. Said real estate firm is none other than his own Miller Manhattan Property Group.

The Orchard Street gallery stalwart tended to focus on new and emerging artists in large part “because of this neighborhood’s historic reputation for giving the underdog a chance to succeed and thrive.”

The LES was once the gateway of America where immigrants got their first opportunities. I like to think I followed in those footsteps by creating a “gateway gallery”–where emerging artists can get their first shot at becoming noticed. I saw my gallery as a springboard for under- or unrecognized talent.

In designing and constructing a gallery, I wanted to give thought to how I can contribute towards bringing more foot traffic to help our small businesses.

Mark Miller opened the gallery in his family building back in 1998, showcasing art in a fraction of the current space. In fact, the adjacent store was home to Luggage Plus for roughly twenty-five years. The latter business shuttered in 2009, and Miller promptly expanded the footprint of his operation. That annexation resulted in the discovery of antique footwear in the basement of the premises, sending historians into a tizzy. Seven years later, though, he’s out.

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92 Orchard St. in 2009

“I am going to miss the gallery and promoting artists but now I will have more time to get out and see more art,” he says.

As for what’s next at 92 Orchard Street, we’re told that a lease was recently signed. Tenant unknown at the moment, but we confirmed it’s not food.

It’s also worth noting that Mark Miller is a big macher in the landowners club that is the Lower East Side BID. He currently sits as Vice Chairman (and former President of five years).

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