State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has nominated the Tarrytown Music Hall for inclusion in the New York State Historic Business Preservation Registry. This is the inaugural year for the registry, which was created by the state legislature to recognize businesses that have been in operation for at least 50 years and have contributed to their communities’ history.
“The Tarrytown Music Hall is already on the National Register of Historic Places, so it is certainly deserving of inclusion in the state’s Historic Business Preservation Registry. For many decades it has served the arts and culture scene in Westchester,” said Stewart-Cousins. “There is something special about seeing a performance in a historical venue like the Music Hall. Whether you are watching a classical pianist or a comedy act, you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.”
“This theater has been at the heart of its community for 137 years,” said Tarrytown Music Hall Executive Director Bjorn Olsson, “Senator Stewart-Cousins has always understood the importance of the Music Hall for Westchester, both as a cultural institution and an economic engine. On behalf of the Music Hall team, current and all the generations before us, we want to express our gratitude to be one of the first to be nominated to this registry.”
The Music Hall is the oldest performing arts theater in Westchester County and one of the region’s finest examples of the Queen Anne style of architecture. This landmark was built in 1885, the same year the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor. It hosted vaudeville shows, piano recitals, horse shows, and even Saturday afternoon roller skating. In 1901, it was one of the first theaters to show motion pictures. Irving Berlin, Mae West, Dave Brubeck, Louis Armstrong, Pete Seeger, B.B. King and Miles Davis are just some of the legendary performers to grace its stage.
From 1930 to 1976, the hall was used exclusively as a movie theater. In 1980, it was purchased by a nonprofit to preserve it and reestablish it as a center for the performing arts and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Historic Business Preservation Registry allows the state to honor businesses, such as the Music Hall, that are vital to the communities they serve, while providing educational and promotional assistance to aid with their continued success.