From its inception in 1980 until 2001, Arts at St. Ann’s called St. Ann and the Holy Trinity in Brooklyn Heights home. When the performing arts institution moved from the National Historic Landmark church to an old spice warehouse in DUMBO shortly after 9/11, it changed its name to St. Ann’s Warehouse. 15 years later, St. Ann’s Warehouse renovated a beautiful old warehouse and moved again. Here’s what you should know about the performing arts organization’s award-winning new home in DUMBO’s old tobacco warehouse.
Why the old tobacco warehouse?
In 2014, St. Ann’s Warehouse staged an outdoor performance of Macbeth in a former tobacco warehouse on the Brooklyn waterfront. Although underdeveloped, the then-roofless venue proved ideal for the performance. Consequently, the organization pursued development of the warehouse as a semi-permanent home. After overhauling the space, St. Ann’s Warehouse opened the doors to its new home in the fall of 2015. The arts group was awarded a 30-year lease with the option to extend for an additional 20 years.
St. Ann’s Warehouse commissioned Marvel Architects to transform the derelict 19th-century warehouse into a spectacular 21st-century theater. Highlights of the $36 million renovation include a 10,000-square-foot open performance space with spellbinding acoustics and seating for 700; a roof made from glass bricks and reflective mortar; and a 7,800-square-foot open-air garden.
Grand opening and AIA award
On October 17, 2015, St. Ann’s Warehouse ushered in a new era with a free concert and open house in its news space. The new warehouse was well-received by the public, who helped St. Ann’s have an astonishingly successful first season in the old tobacco warehouse. Critics were also smitten with the newly renovated structure, which received a 2016 American Institute of Architects New York Chapter Design Award.
Performances, programs, and events
When it was founded, Arts at St. Ann’s was all about music. The Brooklyn Heights church was a great concert space, playing host to classical, jazz, rock, roots, and world music shows. After relocating to the old spice warehouse and changing its name, St. Ann’s Warehouse switched its focus to theater. While the institution still hosts occasional concerts, it is now more synonymous with theater than with music.
If you’d like to experience the magic of St. Ann’s Warehouse in DUMBO, check out the calendar of events when planning your next trip. Book a room at NU Hotel Brooklyn and you’ll be within one mile of the waterfront venue.