Anonymous benefactors give View early holiday gift

Former Arts Center home to remain in View hands; arrangement should allow for compatible development

Jennifer Potter Hayes, executive director of View, has announced the receipt of a large donation to the art center’s Moving Mountains campaign for debt retirement.

The gift will allow View to retain the property at 3260 State Route 28 that housed the former Arts Center/Old Forge for nearly 40 years.

The restricted gift is for $365,000 and is pledged over a five-year period.

The benefactors are a couple who have been long-time supporters of View, who wish to remain anonymous.

According to Potter Hayes, the gift agreement allows View to retain the deed to the property and use it for mission related activities.

It is her hope that by placing the property back in productive use, it will generate additional revenue for View.

The original concept for an Arts and Sciences complex on Route 28 in Old Forge included the use of the former Arts Center property in its plan.

However, in early 2011, View’s Board of Directors reluctantly decided to list the property for sale in its ongoing effort to pay down its debt. 

As discussions commenced with the donor in mid-2012, the Board decided not to renew the listing, but kept a “For Sale by Owner” sign on the property. The sign has now been removed.

“This generous and creative gift allows View to retain this property, and over time, develop it in a way that is compatible with our mission—at the same time freeing up funds to be used to pay down our mortgage,” said Helene McAleese, board president.

“It honors the original visionaries of this project, while assuring future generations of the best and highest use of this site. We are indebted to our benefactors for their foresight.”

The next step will be deciding on an acceptable use for this property.

Ideas will be vetted for feasibility and compatibility with View’s mission.

“In the meantime, we plan to spruce up the building facade and grounds in the spring, and continue to use the site for storage and overflow parking as we contemplate the future,” Potter Hayes said.

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