Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Future of the Art Museum of Southampton

I was visiting the Southampton Village website recently to reference a section of the village building codes and noticed, on the home page, the invitation to take a survey regarding the future of the Parrish Art Museum. Have you noticed this? Have you taken the survey? You should! ( )

The Parrish Art Museum was the first cultural institution built in the downtown area of Southampton Village. Built in 1897 by Grosvenor Atterbury for Samuel Parrish’s collection of Italian Renaissance sculpture, the museum was originally named “The Art Museum of Southampton.” (Now that the museum seems to be taking Sam’s name with them out of the village, I wonder if it’s name should revert back….?) The museum’s entry was originally via footpath off of Main Street. Later, after two additions – also by Atterbury in 1902 and 1913 – the main entry was changed to the new brick clad loggia off of Jobs Lane.

The building - in the heart of downtown - will soon be vacant as the museum is moving east, next door to Duck Walk Vineyard in Water Mill in 2012. So what should it become?

On Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 5:00 p.m., there will be a presentation/meeting at the police station on Windmill Lane regarding the future of the Parrish Building. Village officials and Webb Consulting will be seeking community feedback and discussing various options. After you take the survey on the village’s website, you should attend the meeting to provide your opinion about what uses should occupy this historic village structure, and what community needs it should fulfill. I know for me, the preservation and vitality of that structure is very important.

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