GOLDENS BRIDGE, N.Y. -- For Katonah Art Center owner Loren Anderson, a recent move to Goldens Bridge has been a homecoming of sorts.
Anderson is a South Salem resident and founded the center there roughly 20 years ago. Originally called the South Salem Art Workshop, the center was in an old blacksmith structure by The Horse and Hound Inn.
Now, the center has returned to the town of Lewisboro, although in another hamlet.
The center is occupying the Goldens Bridge Community House, an old structure located on Old Bedford Road that once operated as a school; Anderson notes that it still has the bell, which will be used for breaks during a summer camp for kids.
The move to the current building took place in late December and involved a busy renovation.
“It felt like the set of 'Restaurant Impossible' for the last two weeks here, literally,” Anderson said. “People were working in every single room painting, sanding, cutting wood – everything. It was unbelievable.”
Previously, Katonah Art Center was located in a yellow Victorian-style building on Bedford Road in Katonah, which Anderson said it occupied for about 10 years. The reason for moving to Goldens Bridge, Anderson explained, was because the center was running out of space.
“The house in Katonah felt like a house that we were trying to fit an arts center into, and as we grew over the years, basically every square foot was packed.”
Anderson learned that the town, which owns the community house, was looking for a new occupant. In response, she submitted a proposal, which in turn led to a lease.
The community house, Anderson explained, is airy and has tall ceilings, which are helpful.
“It felt immediately it was perfect."
Katonah Art Center now has two painting studios, a children's studio, a pottery studio, a computer lab with a pair of 3D printers, and another space that will host an array of uses ranging from metal-smithing to print making.
Some of the services, such as metal-smith and 3D printing, are new programs, according to Anderson.
For now at least, Anderson does not plan to change the center's name, citing name recognition.
Lewisboro Councilman Dan Welsh, who has served as a de facto town liaison to residents in the hamlet, praised the center's opening and new digs.
The community house used to be home to the town's recreation and parks department, Welsh said, before it moved to the Onatru park on the eastern side of town. The status of the building, which became vacant, had been of interest to hamlet residents, Welsh explained.
A grand opening was recently held for the center, which was packed with attendees. Services included a gallery of images and painting of a new mural in the children's studio.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.