TARRYTOWN, NY — A Historic Business Preservation Registry is now in place thanks to a new initiative to celebrate and honor some of New York’s oldest businesses.
Tarrytown Music Hall, a cultural jewel in Westchester County’s crown, is one of the first to be listed, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Monday.
“It’s a beloved place. We take care of it for a while. Someone is going to come after us, and that sense of continuity is really what’s remarkable and special about working here,” said executive director Bjorn Olsson.
Tarrytown Music Hall has been welcoming patrons since 1885, the golden age when captains of industry built mansions in this Hudson River town.
“Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson spoke here. We’ve seen benefit shows featuring Irving Berlin,” Olsson said.
BB King, B-52s and many more.
The hall survived the 1918 Spanish flu, as well as the mandatory 460-day closure during the COVID pandemic, thanks to the love and support of the community.
“People kept their season tickets. They said, ‘Hey, don’t refund my tickets. Just stay here so you can be there when this is over. I’ll be back,'” Olsson said.
The love is shared by State Senate Leader and Acting Lieutenant Governor Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who nominated the music hall for New York State’s first Historic Business Preservation Registry.
“The character, the history, the beauty of the architecture, the acoustics, those things that you don’t really get to experience,” Stewart-Cousins said.
The hall became a non-profit cultural organization in the 1980s.
Placement on the registry provides state marketing and promotional assistance to keep customers in the seats for years to come.
Only six percent of performance venues in the United States opened before 1900, putting Tarrytown Music Hall in elite company.