Former Bronx Home For Wealthy Becomes Public "Paradise"
Once a home to wealthy people who lost their fortunes, the Freedman Home in the Bronx has been mostly vacant for years but now the gates of the grand old building will be opened to the public for an art exhibition. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Much of the Andrew Freedman Home has gone unused for decades. But now that's changing for the mammouth building on the Grand Concourse as it becomes the venue for a new art exhibition called "This Side of Paradise."
"It's sort of inviting the artists and the viewers to look again at what the notions of paradise might be," said "No Longer Empty" President and Chief Curator Manon Slome.
The building is named for Andrew Freedman, a millionaire who died in 1915. In his will he asked that a home be established so that rich elderly people who had fallen on hard times could continue to live in luxury. It served that purpose from 1924 until the early 80s when it was purchased by the Mid Bronx Senior Citizens Council.
The council recently offered space for the exhibit to an arts organization called "No Longer Empty". Now there is artwork in a number of the rooms where residents once stayed and socialized, with themes connected to the history of the house and the surrounding community.
"You have very nice echoes as you go through the exhibition, people responding in similar ways but with their own particular method or materials," Slome said.
In addition to all of the artwork in the building, there will also be a variety of programs coinciding with the exhibit.
"We will see local dance groups, theatre, spoken word performances, as well as children's activities," said "No Longer Empty" Director of Progamming Jodie Dinapoli.
The Mid Bronx Senior Citizens Council already offers social services at the site. Now, in conjunction with the exhibit, it's also opening a 10 room bed and breakfast in the building.
It's all part of the organization's 10 year plan.
"The total development of this building will ecompass that plan, and again it means revitilizing culture and art, media, green tech and trade, small business incubator," said Walter Puryear of the Mid Bronx Senior Citizens Council.
For more information on the Freedman House and "This Side of Paradise", which runs through June 5, visit nolongerempty.org.