Construction progresses on the Irish Arts Center, a five-story building at 726 Eleventh Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen. Designed by Davis Brody Bond and Ciaran O’Conner, the structure is located between West 51st and West 52nd Streets, just around the corner from its original three-story location at 553 West 51st Street.
The project involved the repurposing and expansion of a former two-story garage, named Cybert Tire, a Hell’s Kitchen mainstay since its founding in 1916. The garage’s front face was preserved and expanded with a steel-framed superstructure. The extent of the original brick façade is marked by a subtle white roof outline between the second and third stories. The overall result is a simple design respectful to the site’s history, featuring a red brick curtain wall and a grid of tall windows, with double-height glass spanning the top two stories.
The Irish Arts Center will contain a 199-seat flexible theater; rehearsal studio classroom with a full-size mirror wall that can be curtained over, removable ballet barres, and hidden white boards; rehearsal spaces; a library classroom with an adjacent kitchen and storage space; exhibit areas; two dressing rooms; a café; and a restored historic 99-seat theater. The center aims to present and showcase live performances, exhibitions, films, and visual arts content celebrating Irish history and culture though the works of emerging and renowned artists both Irish and Irish-American.
The new facility is expected to open sometime this year.