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No Longer Empty: Andrew Freedman

Home “This Side of Paradise”

This past Saturday I went to check out the modern art exhibit housed in the Renaissance-style Italianate villa, reopened after being largely abandoned for more than 30 years. I had randomly seen a piece on it in the back of a cab the previous night , and serendipitously my sister and friend planned to go the next day.  Definitely worth the trek, if just for a few of the installations and to stroll around enchanting and delapidated building.

The Andrew Freedman Home, bequeathed by millionaire Andrew Freedman, was unbelievably once a retirement haven for New York’s wealthy and elite who had lost their fortunes. Opened in 1924, the home provided food, shelter, and all the amenities of the rich and lavish lifestyle its inhabitants were accustomed to, including white glove dinner service, a grand ball room, a wood-paneled library, and a billiard room. By the 1980s however the building fell into disrepair, and the majority of the rooms were abandoned.

Now, after more than 30 years the home is breathing new life with help from a group of 33 artists. The artists, along with nonprofit art group No Longer Empty, have turned parts of the home into a contemporary art installation titled This Side of Paradise. Developed in partnership with several Bronx arts groups and the Mid Bronx Senior Citizens Council, the exhibit is open to the public until June 5th.

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