The Town of Southeast Cultural Arts Coalition has been awarded a $4,000 Technical Assistance Grant to go toward renovation of the Old Town Hall Theater at 67 Main St., Brewster.
The Southeast Old Town Hall was designed by Child and DeGoll Architects in 1896. The building served the community as a government center and courthouse, community gathering place, theatre and movie house, ballroom, canteen, museum and cultural arts center. Centrally located in the village, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
The Cultural Arts Coalition now uses the structure while spearheading a large restoration and rehabilitation program for it in coordination with the Town of Southeast, the Southeast Museum, and other stakeholders. The coalition uses the lower level space in the Old Town Hall as its “Studio Around the Corner,” a home to host exhibits, concerts, lectures, events and other programs.
The group has made rehabilitation progress in recent years but still has more work to do, and this grant will enable it to hire Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson Architecture & Preservation LLP of Albany to complete an exterior building condition survey of Old Town Hall. This report will lead to an understanding of current condition issues and outline a plan for repair of the brickwork, stonework, cast stone ornamentation, front entry stairs, trim, windows, doors, roofing, and gutter system, according to coalition members.
The overall restoration is estimated to cost upwards of $3 million, and the coalition plans to fund the project with a combination of grants, private donations, and fundraising activities including the annual Brewster music and fall festivals.
The Technical Assistance Grant program is a regrant partnership between the New York State Council on the Arts and the Preservation League of New York State. The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area has provided additional support for this program for four qualifying projects in its service region.
With the announcement of the 2019 awards, support provided by TAG since its launch in 2012 totals $374,377, with funds going toward 129 historic preservation efforts.
“The positive effects of the TAG program can be felt in dozens of communities across New York State,” said Preservation League President Jay DiLorenzo. “We are excited to fund another diverse group of projects this year, thanks to our program partners at NYSCA and the additional generosity of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.”