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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wave Hill House set for grand re-opening

By Felix Holoszyc-Pimentel
Posted
Marisol Diaz/The Riverdale Press
The newly renovated Wave Hill House will officially open to the public on Saturday, July 6.

The makeover is almost complete.

After a wait of more than two years, during which Wave Hill had to relocate a variety of programs for children and adults, just a few finishing touches remain before Wave Hill House officially re-opens to the public on Saturday, July 6. 

But Riverdale’s public garden overlooking the Hudson River and the Palisades couldn’t wait to celebrate its nearly $10 million renovation, and at a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 19, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Councilman Oliver Koppell joined in the festivities. 

Mr. Bloomberg called Wave Hill “one of the real gems in the cultural crown of the city,” and touted the restoration project as “really a great example of public/private partnerships.”

The $6.6 million restoration — funded by the city and Wave Hill — makes Wave Hill House ADA compliant by installing an elevator and better ramps and it has brought about long-delayed repairs.

During this first city-funded phase, begun in April 2011, plumbing, electrical and fire protection systems have been upgraded and a new energy efficient HVAC system has been installed. 

The second, privately funded $3.1 million phase has restored the building’s public spaces to their original designs.

“The house will now be both more functional and more aesthetic,” said Martha Gellens, Wave Hill’s assistant director for marketing and communications. “It feels the same and yet different.”  

The scope of the renovations includes both interior and exterior modifications, which were designed by Dattner Architects. Among the most obvious changes is a remodeling of the café, which has been changed to open the space up and allow the room to be used entirely as a dining area. An adjacent serving area has been added to allow for cafeteria style dining, which will include more food choices than previously offered.  

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