Yonkers, a large city just north of the Bronx, has lived through troubled times over the later half of the 20th century. During industrialization there was an influx of factories by the city’s waterfront, most notably the Carpet Mill factories and the Otis Elevator factories (yes the first elevators in the world came from Yonkers, NY!). Through the ’90’s and early 2000’s the waterfront was a very rundown locale whose inhabitants suffered from poverty and addiction. For much time, the governing bodies and citizens of the town expressed a desire to revitalize the area, but temptation to move in was, well, nonexistent. Buildings weren’t up to code with destroyed infrastructure and unwanted little creatures inhabiting the ceilings and floors, but the view of the Hudson remained splendid.
After some time, donations, and government assistance, YOHO Artist studios (Yonkers above Houston) was born. With studio space housing over 80 artists in two old factory buildings, Yonkers has been in the process of a rebirth. In the last 20 years or so, artists have begun moving into the Yonkers Waterfront district along with upscale restaurants, and a brewery. The area has become a new hub for artists of the moment. Urban Studios Unbound is a local art collective of artists from the metropolitan area, founded by FIT students, alum, and faculty. USU has gallery space and shows the work of these local artists. Blue Door Art Center is also a nearby gallery Space and artist collective. These three groups of artists offer many events welcoming the community that can be discovered via their websites. The fourth-largest city in the state is revealing itself to be a new center for contemporary art.
The Hudson River Museum in Yonkers has been a pillar of the local art community for many decades now. It was established in the early 1900’s as the Yonkers Museum and by 1950 became the Hudson River Museum. http://www.hrm.org/exhibits.html .
Yonkers, an up and coming center for the arts, can be easily accessed by a bus ride or ride on the Metro North. It is most certainly worth a visit.