The Thorne Building, a landmark that has been emblematic of the Village of Millbrook, NY, for the past 125 years, will soon see new life. The historic building will be transformed into a community center under plans that have made a major move forward with the recent selection of an architect for the project. The Board of the non-profit Thorne Building Community Center (TBCC) has announced that Michael Sloan and his team at Sloan Architects, P.C., have been chosen as the architectural firm for the proposed revitalization.
Sloan’s design, which would accommodate a wide variety of anticipated uses, includes an auditorium and a large meeting space intended to support a rich array of cultural programming. Included in the design plans are a kitchen that could cater events, serve as a small café, and host cooking classes. The building would also accommodate a music studio, technology room, exhibition gallery space, smart classrooms and seminar rooms and a community-based outdoor space including a proposed new bandshell with landscaped amphitheater lawn seating.
Sloan, whose Millbrook-based firm has served a wide variety of clients ranging from Vassar College and SUNY Oneonta to Millbrook Vineyards & Winery since its establishment in 1997, has a very personal history with the Thorne Building: Sloan’s great-great-grandfather, William Thorne, was one of the original donors who helped to make the iconic structure possible.
“I have always viewed the Thorne Building as one of the village’s anchors,” Sloan said. Oakleigh Thorne, chairman of the TBCC Board echoed those sentiments saying, “It’s so important that the building remain community-based. And now is the time to re-energize this cultural resource. If current events have taught us anything, it is the extraordinary importance of community in all of our lives. We envision the Thorne Building Community Center as a cornerstone of community for the Village of Millbrook, and indeed for all of central Dutchess County. This marks a significant step forward for this important project. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with such a talented firm, and with an architect as sensitive and imaginative as Michael Sloan.”