Exclusive: Old Bronx Courthouse To Begin Renovations; Will Also Host Major Art Exhibition In March

Scaffolding is already going up around the Old Bronx Courthouse in preparation for major exterior cleaning, installation of windows and renovations to the ground and second floors.
Scaffolding is already going up around the Old Bronx Courthouse in preparation for major exterior cleaning, installation of windows and renovations to the ground and second floors.

Today we received word from Henry Weinstein, the owner of the landmark Old Bronx Courthouse, who confirmed that not only are major renovations underway at the treasured building in Melrose but it will be the host of a major exhibition by the organization No Longer Empty.

You may recall that 3 years ago this coming April, No Longer Empty held ‘This Side of Paradise’ at the Andrew Freedman home.  Those who were there for that opening night remember that the place was packed and attendance was well over 1,000 individuals including Academy Award Winner Adrien Brody who’s mother, photojournalist Sylvia Plachy was one of the dozens of artists and organizations exhibiting at the event.  Plachy had a connection to the Andrew Freedman Home when she documented its residents during the summer of 1980 for the Village Voice.

The impact that that event had at the then underutilized landmark is still felt today as the Andrew Freedman Home has become a major cultural center hosting dozens of exhibitions, plays, and the first ever Bronx Fashion Week.

One of the many works of art from No Longer Empty's 'This Side of Paradise' at the Andrew Freedman home in April 2012.
One of the many works of art from No Longer Empty’s ‘This Side of Paradise’ at the Andrew Freedman home in April 2012.

No Longer Empty’s mission is to activate, “…public engagement with contemporary art through curated, community-responsive exhibitions and education programs that revive underutilized properties.”

The organization goes on to say:

“No Longer Empty works with internationally recognized curators to feature established artists alongside emerging artists. The synthesis of community interviews and site research drives the curatorial theme and revives the history of buildings. The curatorial premise and the physical realities of the site provide artists with an alternative to today’s art world status quo, allowing them to expand their practice through site commissioned work.

No Longer Empty presents art in environments that are free and accessible to all. Our collaborative cultural and educational programming strengthen community links and bolster a vibrant cultural landscape. Harnessing the opportunity of interim use, we act as a catalyst and a model for building resilience and opportunity for all members of the community.

At the heart of the experience is community engagement. Our presence in each neighborhood focuses on encouraging local participation and attracting new visitors to the neighborhood. We nourish and build relationships with the people that come to our exhibitions, the community around our activities, and the artist community we form around us. “

One of the many works of art from No Longer Empty's 'This Side of Paradise' at the Andrew Freedman home in April 2012.
One of the many works of art from No Longer Empty’s ‘This Side of Paradise’ at the Andrew Freedman home in April 2012.

As far as the Old Bronx Courthouse goes, scaffolding is already going up around the structure as Weinstein begins the process of restoring the exterior to its former glory.  “I’ve ordered the windows already, and the exterior will undergo a major cleaning,” Weinstein told Welcome2TheBronx earlier today.

Lady Justice (who in this case ISN'T blind as she's without a blindfold) is being protected as work on the exterior begins.
Lady Justice (who in this case ISN’T blind as she’s without a blindfold) is being protected as work on the exterior begins.

Other work that will be done on the property will be repointing the exterior, knocking open the sealed up windows and installing the new ones and renovations to the ground floor and second floor to accommodate the exhibition.

As for more information on No Longer Empty’s exhibition, we’ll provide that as soon as we get it so stay tuned!

One of the many works of art from No Longer Empty's 'This Side of Paradise' at the Andrew Freedman home in April 2012.
One of the many works of art from No Longer Empty’s ‘This Side of Paradise’ at the Andrew Freedman home in April 2012.
One of the many works of art from No Longer Empty's 'This Side of Paradise' at the Andrew Freedman home in April 2012.
One of the many works of art from No Longer Empty’s ‘This Side of Paradise’ at the Andrew Freedman home in April 2012.

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One of the many works of art from No Longer Empty's 'This Side of Paradise' at the Andrew Freedman home in April 2012.
One of the many works of art from No Longer Empty’s ‘This Side of Paradise’ at the Andrew Freedman home in April 2012.
One of the many works of art from No Longer Empty's 'This Side of Paradise' at the Andrew Freedman home in April 2012.
One of the many works of art from No Longer Empty’s ‘This Side of Paradise’ at the Andrew Freedman home in April 2012.

 

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