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USGA buys fabled Russian Tea Room
by Associated Press


The U.S. Golf Association bought the fabled Russian Tea Room, a Manhattan landmark soon to become a golf museum and history center. The USGA bid $16 million for the building, which is next door to Carnegie Hall, and signed documents Monday for the official transfer of property.

"The New York City museum is not going to be simply a collection of artifacts in the traditional sense, but a multimedia, interactive presentation of golf history and future of the game," said Rand Jerris, director of museum and library for the USGA.

The USGA will keep its primary museum in Far Hills, N.J., where its headquarters have been since 1972. It wants to open the New York museum in time for the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.

The Tea Room was opened in 1926 by former members of the Russian Imperial Ballet. Over the years, it became a restaurant where musicians, performers and celebrities gathered. Despite $20 million in renovations, the Tea Room closed in July.

The USGA plans to maintain the reception space and some of the kitchen facilities so the space can be used for USGA functions as well as rented for evening and weekend receptions.

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