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 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.
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.