Westport Arts Center relocating to Norwalk border
WESTPORT — The Westport Arts Center has officially annouced it will be relocating to 19 Newtown Turnpike, a property that straddles the Westport/Norwalk line.
Plans for a move had been in the works for some months.
“This important expansion of the Arts Center allows us to greatly broaden the scope of our programming and exhibitions,” Westport Arts Center Executive Director Amanda Innes said in a Tuesday news release. “We will be able to showcase large-scale, innovative art pieces and installations both in the gallery and on the exterior grounds.”
The first phase of the relocation and expansion is scheduled to open fall of 2019 and will occupy 10,000 square feet of the new property. The opening of the new space also coincides with the celebration of the center’s 50th anniversary, according to communications manager Heather Lawless.
The original 1926 stone building, attached warehouse and free-standing cottages “offer the potential of 33,000 square feet for museum exhibitions, state-of-the-art classrooms, concerts and events, as well as offices. The 6-acre property includes sprawling outdoor garden space and parking for 110 vehicles,” she said.
First Selectman Jim Marpe said, “Westport Arts Center is a long-time contributor to Westport’s identity as an arts community and is an important resource to the entire town. We are excited to see the Arts Center expand to meet the creative demands of our active, artistic town. We anticipate that the Arts Center’s new campus will be a regional cultural destination, drawing audiences to Westport from all over Connecticut, Westchester County and New York City.”
The expansion will also include a cafe, lounge, library and space to host events.
“We envision the new location to be a welcoming setting for engaging social activity,” Innes added.
The interior remodel and renovation of the Newtown Turnpike property is led by Howard Lathrop, a principal at Sellars Lathrop Architects, LLC.