Our mission is to establish an elegant space where artists, performers, and healing arts practitioners can share their work, passions and energy with our engaged and appreciative community. Through the restoration of a classic fire house in the charming hamlet of Sparkill, Union Arts Center has become a supportive and welcoming venue for cultural exchange and creative expression.
The building was originally a barn, built in 1876 by David W. Kipp, a successful grocer and tenth generation resident of the area, for use as a livery and carriage house. In 1899, a catastrophic fire at St. Agnes Convent and Orphanage brought home to Sparkill the necessity of having its own fire company, as did Tappan, Nyack and Piermont; thus, in 1901, the John Paulding Engine Company #1 was formed and subsequently incorporated in 1912. The carriage house was purchased in the same year from Donald Kipp’s estate. Its first truck was a horse-drawn, hand-powered pumper and then the building was upgraded in 1914 to accommodate a new motorized hose truck.
Even from the beginning, the engine company, when not fighting fires, made the building available for community events such as dances, weddings, minstrel shows and vaudeville. In 1906, it organized a circus to benefit victims of the San Francisco earthquake. The engine company, the building, and the community continued on in this way until 1970, when the engine company moved to its present location on Rte. 340. The next twelve years saw a series of short-lived businesses take up residence in the empty building: dress assembly and manufacturing, toy and statue manufacturing, an environmental safety laboratory and a vitamin store.
Then in 1982, the Firehouse Craftsmen acquired the building and established an arts and crafts cooperative based on the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff, the founder of The Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man. Its members studied craft and its relation to self-knowledge. On the lower floor, they engaged in fabric design, woodworking, weaving, ceramics, stained glass and toy design and on the upper floor they practiced movement exercises designed to heighten self-awareness and vitality.
In 2011, the Craftsmen left and the building was acquired by Piermont resident Simon Basner. From 2011-2012, the building was revitalized and transformed under Simon’s direction. The painstaking renovation has allowed the creation of The Union Arts Center.
With its original turn-of-the-century wood floors and tin ceiling, Quincy Hall features beautiful natural light and lively acoustics. Our grand upstairs room is a welcoming, elegant space for concerts, visual arts, and private events as well as larger classes and workshops.
A functional yet sophisticated atmosphere and rotating exhibit of visual art make the first floor Gallery a destination in itself. Easy access to the kitchen and Library and floor-to-ceiling glass garage doors create a unique and friendly environment for corporate or social gatherings.
Featuring a handcrafted wraparound oak bench, wall-to-wall plush carpeting, and gas fireplace, the Library is home to healing arts sessions, small workshops, and yoga. Its comforting, quiet ambience renews the spirit and quiets the mind.
Our expertly appointed kitchen is available for caterers, cooking instructors, and hospitality coordinators in tandem with special occasions. This chef’s kitchen is meticulously maintained and features high-end stainless steel appliances and counters.
Traveling to Union Arts Center
Palisades Parkway North
Use Exit 4 and then Left onto 9W north. After the next traffic signal, continue past The Market (a good stop for food and drink) on your right. Soon after, there will be a sign for Tallman State Park on your right, slow down and then a Left turn onto Valentine Road. Use caution, as you must cross 9W at an angle. Follow this road down the slope and then about two blocks. At the sign for The Christ Episcopal Church, make a left onto Union St. Our address is 2 Union Ave. on the left. Continue another half-block for parking in the village center.
Palisades Parkway South
Use Exit 5 S for 303 S. towards Tappan. Turn Left at the 1st traffic signal onto Kings Highway, and follow until the end. There, at Orangeburg Road/340 East, make a Right Turn. At the next traffic signal, turn Right following 340 E. and what becomes Main St. of Sparkill, NY. At the Blinking light you are at the intersection of Main St. and Union St. If you look towards your Left you will see the front of Union Arts Center just a little down Union St. Continue straight for parking in the center of the village.
Take 9W South about 4 miles, passing a School on the Left. At the next traffic signal, use the Right lane and turn Right onto Hickey St. Then a Left onto Rt. 340. At the next intersection turn Right onto 340 E, This is Main St. of Sparkill. At the Blinking light you are at the intersection of Main St. and Union St. If you look towards your Left you will see the front of Union Arts Center just a little down Union St. Continue straight for parking in the center of the village.
Parking is available along Main & Washington St, and in the center of Sparkill: Depot Square. Parking is free and no permits are required. Please do not park across the street (residential lot) or in the Chase Bank lot.
Union Arts Center, a restored 100 year old firehouse, is currently not handicapped accessible to the 2nd floor performance space, Quincy Hall. Building plans for an elevator, and fundraising plans for its installation, are being developed to create this accessibility in the future.
Union Arts Center is located in the beautiful Hudson River Valley of NY. It’s home in the hamlet of Sparkill, NY is just 1 mile from the majestic Hudson River by the village of Piermont, and just 15 miles north of the George Washington Bridge and New York City. Close to the vibrant town of Nyack and peaceful Tallman State Park in Palisades, the Union Arts Center is nestled in an area of wonderful attractions.
RiverView Bed & Breakfast, Piermont & Nyack, NY
Holiday Inn, Orangeburg, NY
Residence Inn, Orangeburg, NY
The Castle, Tarrytown, NY
The Ritz Carlton, White Plains, NY
Pearl River Hilton, Pearl River, NY
HNA Palisades, Palisades, NY
SPARKILL, NEW YORK
PIERMONT, NEW YORK (.5 miles)
TAPPAN, NEW YORK (1.4 miles)
PALISADES, NEW YORK (1.5 miles)
NORTHVALE, NEW JERSEY (1.8 miles)
NYACK, NEW YORK (3.0 miles)
Back to Earth
Piermont & Nyack, charming riverfront villages with restaurants, views, walks and local shops
Tallman Mountain State Park, a beautiful river front park with hiking trails just a few minutes from UAC
Piermont Pier, a beautiful walk along a strip of land that leads from Piermont to the middle of the Hudson River
Tappan, New York, historic village just minutes from UAC
Woodbury Commons, outlet stores
West Point Military Academy, West Point, NY
Dia, art museum located in Beacon, NY
Storm King Art Center, world-renowned outdoor sculpture park and museum located in New Windsor, NY
SIMON BASNER • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Mr. Basner’s visionary groundwork has created a renewed center for the practice and appreciation of the arts, and the old Sparkill firehouse with all its history stands strengthened and refreshed to begin its second century as a hub of creative and social endeavor. –10964 Newsletter
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