Galapagos Art Space in Williamsburg (Photo courtesy of editrrix)
According to today’s New York Times article, Galapagos Art Space, which has been a draw for performing arts and a healthy bar scene in Williamsburg Brooklyn since 1995 have announced that they will move to Dumbo Brooklyn at 16 Main Street (on the corner of Water Street), a 102 year old, 10,000 square foot former horse stable in the Spring or Summer of 2008. The Two Trees Management owned space will double the size of the existing Galapagos space in Williamsburg for half the rent. According to the NY Times article, the rent at Galapagos increased
to by $10,000 a month in Dec 2005 and will increase by another 30% next month. Robert Elmes, the founder of Galapagos, explains how the Walentas family has kept art in NYC:
For the past decade Two Trees Management and David and Jed Walentas have worked hard to grow DUMBO into one of New York Cityâ€™s most important neighborhood for art and culture. But they’ve done more than that. They’ve created the template by which the interests of real estate and cultural New York can grow together – effectively creating their own 421-a cultural program and proving that it works for all the stakeholders involved. Their assistance in our moving to DUMBO has been instrumental. It’s the reason we are able to move to DUMBO and why we can afford to stay in New York City.
This is wonderful news for Dumbo and its art scene. I was first introduced to Galapagos (and Williamsburg) in the late 1990s when the area was still primarily non-residential and they were considered pioneers in the neighborhood. A Galapagos move to the developed area of Dumbo strengthens the art scene with St. Ann’s Warehouse down the street and PowerHouse Arena on the opposite corner on Main and Water Streets. The current space in Galapagos, with its mesmorizing water reflection pool and industrial space showcases musicians, theatre artists, dancers and painters, and will continue to draw crowds when it moves to Dumbo.
16 Main Street, Dumbo (Photo from NY Times, credit: Christopher W. Havens/Two Trees Management)