After hosting 129 years of concerts, movies, balls, flower shows, and theater performances, it’s not suprising the Tarrytown Music Hall was ready for a facelift. The 1885 venue reopened in mid-September for a sold-out Natalie Merchant concert after closing in August amid an ongoing, $1.5 million exterior restoration project expected to be completed this month.
Funded by state grants and private donations, work began in April to repair and replace worn and outdated building features (including expanding and modernizing the bathrooms). New exterior doors, refinished stucco façades, a new-shingled roof, and a freshly paved artist parking lot are the last improvements to come in November.
“The theater building behind the brick building—that’s where you’ll notice a big difference,” says Executive Director Bjorn Olsson, who notes the exterior paint job will likely have the most visual impact to the public, despite its relatively minimal cost. On the changes he’s most excited about, he says, “It would be silly to say all of it.”
Olsson reports the project is on schedule and on budget, a relief as the venue remains open while under construction. He says “it can be frustrating, obviously, to say, ‘You can’t make noise this day.’” Merchant’s show, however, appeared undeterred. Olsson says it was “amazing—she played three hours with no intermission.”
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Music Hall is the oldest theater in Westchester. More than 85,000 visitors attend its music, theater, dance, and film programming each year, and this fall, Emmylou Harris, Martin Sexton, Bill Cosby, and many more grace its stage.