A nineteenth-century munitions warehouse on Governors Island in New York Harbor has opened its doors as the city’s newest venue for the arts. Spearheaded by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), the project is the latest piece in the ongoing transformation of the island, a former military base, into a vibrant cultural destination. Pei Cobb Freed & Partners led a team that provided pro bono design services to the nonprofit LMCC to restore and renovate the nearly-150-year-old structure, situated on the island’s northern edge. The new arts center is the first permanent home on the island for LMCC, founded in 1973 to serve local artists and the community with grants, studio space, and public exhibitions and events. To accommodate the organization’s eclectic program, the architects opened up the interior of the long and narrow two-story building—previously a warren of military offices—and exposed and restored the original truss structure, creating 40,000 square feet of flexible, loft-like space.
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