SU announces it will open community spaces in Warehouse, aided by $1.25 million secured by Sen. DeFrancisco
SU announces it will open community spaces in Warehouse, aided by $1.25 million secured by Sen. DeFranciscoAugust 26, 2005Matthew R. Snydermrsnyder@syr.edu
As it arrives in the heart of downtown Syracuse with its purchase and revitalization of the Warehouse, Syracuse University will open one-fifth of the building to community and public use, thanks in part to a $1.25 million grant from New York State secured by Sen. John A. DeFrancisco. The grant will help support the renovation of the first floor of the former Dunk & Bright warehouse into:
- a home for arts education collaboration between SU and the Everson Museum;
- a community art gallery and lobby space;
- artist support and development space in partnership with the Cultural Resources Council;
- a 125-seat lecture hall; and
- a community box office.
The spaces will be open-free of charge-to identified community non-profit arts organizations. The public spaces are scheduled for completion in April 2006.
Chancellor Nancy Cantor and Sen. DeFrancisco will celebrate the growing partnership between SU and the community with an event at Galaxy Communications tonight, Aug. 26 at 11 p.m. At “The National Grid Artistic Lighting Project at The SU Warehouse,” Cantor and DeFrancisco will flip the switch to illuminate a symbolic array of more than 300 blue and yellow lights in the Warehouse’s window spaces. The installation, designed by New York-based artist Leni Schwendinger of Leni Schwendinger Light Projects, Ltd., will represent the appearance of the building’s windows when it is finished and occupied, infusing the neighborhood with added energy and creativity. Ceremony participants will also include Syracuse Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll; Marilyn Higgins, vice president for economic and community development for Niagara Mohawk, a National Grid Company; and Peggy Ogden, president and CEO of the Central New York Community Foundation. The lighting event is open to the public with the best vantage point on Walton Street, south of the Warehouse.
“The exchange of ideas and energy facilitated by The Warehouse will generate far-reaching benefits,” says Cantor. “I am truly delighted, not only by our successful progress in this important venture, but by the fact that our partners span all sectors-public, private and corporate. It is a collaborative effort in every sense of the word.”
“I am pleased to have secured $1.25 million for the renovation of the Dunk & Bright warehouse, which will transform this building into a public cultural arts center that will not only be utilized by the University and its students but more importantly it will be open to aspiring artists and others in our community as well,” says DeFrancisco. “It will increase exposure to our downtown businesses and merchants and it will provide a tremendous educational opportunity to our students and talented individuals of all ages.”
The Warehouse was purchased by SU in April. The building, which will open for classes in January 2006, is undergoing extensive renovations. It will be the temporary home for the SU School of Architecture during Slocum Hall renovations. It will also be the permanent home for “Upstate: A Center for Design,” studio space for the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Communications Design and Advertising Design programs, the downtown base of the Goldring Arts Journalism program, and the mixed-use community space.
The building will bring 550 students per day to the Armory Square district. More than 70 staff and faculty jobs will be located there. SU is utilizing Syracuse-based architects V.I.P. Structures as the implementation and construction management firm. The design is being led by Gluckman Mayner Architects, the New York-based firm known for its art-related facilities; SU alumnus Richard Gluckman ’70, G’71 is a principal of the firm. SU will partner with Centro to provide 24-hour shuttle bus service between the new building and SU’s main campus.
The community spaces will, for the first time, create a consolidated home for the region’s artprograms and artists, building engagement and synergy to spur further creativity.
- The Everson collaboration will enhance arts education in Syracuse, doubling the museum’s current outreach offerings to local elementary school children with classroom spaces, arts-equipped classrooms and distance learning spaces.
- The community art gallery will provide expansive space for local artists and organizations, as well as display areas for the Everson Arts Education program.
- The artist support space, a collaboration with the Cultural Resources Council, will give local arts groups space to work with University professionals, allowing them to grow and foster their crafts alongside one another and the academic activities taking place in the building.
- The lecture hall will host community-directed speakers and programs, creating a “town hall” atmosphere at minimal cost for lectures, readings, talks and demonstrations sponsored by SU or the community.
- The box office will facilitate access to the wide variety of cultural events across the city and the University, allowing one-stop shopping for community events.
Users will be required to adhere to the rules typically applicable to tenants of SU-owned buildings.
According to planners, the building is uniquely positioned as an ideal destination for city residents and visitors, providing convenient interface with the arts community. In addition to SU’s investment in the property and related services, the Warehouse is also expected to create positive economic impacts in the form of increased arts resources and awareness; increased support for local retail establishments; an infusion of knowledge and talent; and the preparation of future architects, designers and journalists who will be able to contribute to the local and regional economies. In addition to the New York State grant, support is coming from National Grid, the Central New York Community Foundation, the Allyn Foundation and other donors.
“This project is a key component in the vision to link the University with our community’s cultural corridor,” says DeFrancisco. “This will help to complement and enhance our downtown’s thriving cultural arts hub, which is imperative to our continuing growth in Central New York.”