First came the handicapped accessible restrooms, now the will be able to proceed on other huge restoration projects necessary to this 1885 federal landmark.
The nonprofit Music Hall is among 16 Westchester organizations, and one of 61 in the mid-Hudson region, to receive a sizable development grant from the state.
Executive Director Björn Olsson got the news from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office Thursday that the Hall would receive $400,000, the maximum amount for its category. The Village of Sleepy Hollow will receive $37,000 toward Horseman’s Pier, the rehabilitation of the former industrial pier at the waterfront site for public recreational use. The complete list of organizations in the state to receive funds is listed on the PDF attached to this article.
A total of $785 million were awarded across the state through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative, which according to a press release from the Governor’s office, is “continuing the Governor's efforts to redesign the way state government works in order to drive economic growth and create jobs.”
Shifting the focus “from a top-down development model to a community-based and performance-driven one,” Regional Councils were created in July 2010 to investigate proposals competing for the money.
"Regional collaborations and planning is a roadmap to get New Yorkers back to work," Governor Cuomo said. "The plans submitted by all ten regions were truly extraordinary. For the first time, we are putting the power of the State Government behind the innovation of our people, giving them the tools to rebuild our economy."
At the Music Hall, the funds are slated to go toward the replacement of deteriorated foundations, restoration and repair of walls and windows, rehabilitation of the roof, and restoration of exterior soft stucco and paint finishes and interior lobby plaster and paint finishes.
“These somewhat ‘unsexy’ but expensive types of projects can sometimes be hard to raise private funds for, so public grants are crucial to saving and restoring buildings like The Music Hall,” Olsson said. "We hope to also be able to spruce up the outer lobby; we feel it's important to also do some work that the public really sees.”
In the meantime, Hall patrons can now enjoy the new restroom. "We have felt so terrible for years not to be able to offer one, and now it's finally there, a huge step forward for the general accessibility to our building," Olsson said. "It was a very expensive rest room; the project ran somewhere north of $150,000, but it was worth every penny. We call it ‘The Most Expensive Seat In The House’."