VIDEO: Palo Alto Art Center celebrates reopening

Renovated center on Newell Road features higher ceilings, brighter spaces and a new children's wing

After more than a year of construction, the renovated Palo Alto Art Center reopened on Saturday, Oct. 6, with a free public open house from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

New exhibitions were on display, while art activities, live music and dance performances were held at the center at 1313 Newell Road in Palo Alto.

The made-over main gallery at the center is packed to the rafters -- with light. For decades, curators and visitors sighed at the low ceiling. Art doesn't like feeling cramped.

Now, the ceiling has been raised up to the building's rafters, which are newly painted white to better accentuate exhibitions.

This is the first major renovation for the building, which was built as Palo Alto's City Hall. The upgrade was financed by a public/private partnership between the city and the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation, a nonprofit.

The building was designed by Palo Alto architect Leslie Nichols. When it opened in 1953, newspapers described the grouted-brick building with shake roofs as "Ranchero style" and "country club," according to an art-center flier. Later, City Hall moved downtown, and the building was turned into a cultural center in 1971.

Video by Veronica Weber/Palo Alto Online.

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Like this comment
Posted by linda m
a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Looks like a wonderful community gathering place and a great renovation by the City of Palo Alto workers. Congratulations!

Like this comment
Posted by Laurie Hunter
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Love the spirit of the place and glad that we as voters funded it ... one of the gems of Palo Alto !

Like this comment
Posted by Audrey Rust
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 9, 2012 at 1:11 pm

LOVE the video. Couldn't make the opening, but am anxious to get over to check out the new Center. Karen K. is a master at making things happen.

Like this comment
Posted by Carol
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm

The Grand Reopening of the Palo Alto Art Center was a huge success. The exhibits, the music, the dancing and most of all the high energy from all the adults and children enjoying the new space was very exciting. Thank you Palo Alto, thank you Art Center Foundation!

Like this comment
Posted by Megan
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 9, 2012 at 11:22 pm

I too love the video and can't wait to get over there! Congrats to the tireless staff and volunteers for this jewel of civic engagement. Thank you!

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