It’s Official! Westport Arts Center Moves To Newtown Turnpike.

In December, “06880” reported that the Westport Arts Center was planning a move from its Riverside Avenue home. They’ve been in the long, narrow 3,600-square foot space since 2002.

They were eyeing Martha Stewart’s former TV studio. The address is 19 Newtown Turnpike, Westport. But the 3-story building is actually located a few feet over the border, in Norwalk.

Today, the WAC confirmed those plans. The first phase of their relocation and expansion will open this fall.

They’ll take nearly 10,000 square feet of 19 Newtown Turnpike, nearly tripling their current space.

The former Martha Stewart TV studio on Newtown Turnpike.

The opening coincides with the Arts Center’s 50th anniversary. It was formed in 1969 as the Westport-Weston Arts Council. The organization was renamed Westport Arts Center in 1986. It was housed in a variety of locations, including the then-closed Greens Farms Elementary School.

In a press release, the  WAC says they’ll be “marrying our rich heritage with an exciting new chapter as a leading contemporary arts destination.”

The Newtown Avenue 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, and offices.

The 6-acre property includes an outdoor garden space and parking for 110 vehicles.

WAC executive director Amanda Innes says:

This important expansion of the Arts Center allows us to greatly broaden the scope of our programming and exhibitions. We will be able to showcase large-scale, innovative art pieces and installations both in the gallery and on the exterior grounds. Our first exhibition in the new space will be something never before seen in Connecticut. We look forward to unveiling details of the exciting exhibition and expansion at our 50th Anniversary gala on May 18th.

The interior remodel and renovation of 19 Newtown Turnpike is led by Howard Lathrop of Sellars Lathrop Architects. He has served as designer and project architect on major museums around the world.

5 responses to “It’s Official! Westport Arts Center Moves To Newtown Turnpike.

  1. Fred Cantor

    What is the history of that building (before Martha Stewart)? It looks like a great fit for the WAC.

    • From the WAC:
      Martha Stewart handpicked 19 Newtown Turnpike to house her headquarters and television production studios from 1998-2004. Three film studios were designed to replicate rooms in Martha’s own homes, including a kitchen modelled after her Westport house on Turkey Hill Road. Prior to this, the building had served as storage and light manufacturing for a handful of businesses, including war effort production of munitions and aircraft parts.

      • Fred Cantor

        Thanks. It seems like such an unusual/out-of-the-way location for a building of that size, type, and use way back in the day.

  2. Cristina Negrin

    LOVE it!

  3. Lori Winthrop

    It’s going to amazing for westport and it’s borderong towns

    All that new space for classes, multiple gallery showings- so exciting

    Congrats WAC!