Rebuilding an Historic Legacy One Brick and Grant at a Time

Brewster Village’s once cultural downtown hotspot gets a second life with the stage

Light streams in from the spacious windows and the warm wood of the stage is showered in rays of sun. The stage looks inviting to every patron that walks in. It’s beautiful and enticing. With three floors of operation, the Old Town Hall Theater is a staple of Brewster along with the Southeast Museum and Studio Around the Corner. This building breeds art and history, and it’s elegance and charm are now being built upon with new renovations.
The Old Town Hall Theater, located in the Village of Brewster, was built in 1896. It was designed by Child and DeGoll Architects, who modeled the building after the Colonial Revival style. This historic building has been used as a courtroom, a ballroom, and a government center in the past. The Studio Around the Corner and the Southeast Museum are fascinating parts of this building as well, with enormous amounts of history and personality. It stands on Brewster’s Main Street and was inducted into the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It’s dressing room, stage, and balcony make it a perfect place to hold events and performances. Recently, this venue was home to a showcase of musicians including Robert Zubrycki, Kristina Musser, Adria Benjamin, Katherine Cherbas, Sarah Hewitt-Roth and Spanish dancer Anna de la Paz. This excellent showcase of performers was enjoyed by an in-person audience and is only one of the events held by the Concerts Around the Corner, a Cultural Arts Coalition program promoting performers and local showcases in Brewster. Some other programs include Garden Around the Corner, which is a program that teaches and promotes gardening techniques as well as the growing of fresh organic vegetables, and Studio Around the Corner, which holds various art and community events including art exhibitions and concerts. These programs are always looking for volunteers and these opportunities can be found on their website.
The Town of Southeast Cultural Arts Coalition, in partnership with the Town of Southeast, is heading a restoration project of the Old Town Hall Theater, working to breathe new life in this beautiful center of our town. This project works to revitalize the village of Brewster as well as preserving a piece of historical significance within Brewster, creating a self-sustaining theater and arts center, and allowing for the performing arts in Brewster to have an affordable haven where they can be enjoyed by the public. Some projects to be done in the Theater are repairs on the roof, creating wheelchair accessible bathrooms as well as elevators, and work on the Theater’s accouterments. With grants from New York State, the Cultural Arts Coalition has accomplished landing a long-time lease with the Town of Southeast as well as over $400,000 dollars in grants.
This historic building is both eye-catching and is soon to be a staple in this community as the Town of Southeast Cultural Arts Coalition continues to restore and improve upon the beauty and design of this theater. Soon live music and performances will be the heart and soul of Brewster, located in the middle of Main Street.