The Westport Arts Center is considering a relocation to the former studio that housed Martha Stewart’s television programming.
According to a report in the 06880 blog, the arts center hired Sellars Lathrop Architects to study the viability of converting the 3,400-square-foot studio into a space for exhibitions, educational endeavors and performances. Stewart produced her television shows at the site from 1998 to 2004. But while the studio’s address is 19 Newtown Turnpike in Westport and will require input from the town government, the building is physically across the border in Norwalk and would require approval from the city’s planning and zoning department for changes to the structure.
The arts center took over the Greens Farms Elementary School when that institution closed in 1983 and offered exhibitions, performances and studio space for working artists. The center was forced out in 1999 after the town reclaimed the school as an educational site. The arts center was homeless until it moved into its current location at 51 Riverside Ave. in 2002, but that building’s narrow design offered no room for working artists or other programming.
“It’s no secret we’ve been looking for space for the better part of three years,” says Amanda Innes, executive director of the WAC. “We’ve looked at many places in Westport. Some are near downtown. But this is a great property. There are 110 parking spaces. It’s nearly 10 times the size of where we are now.”