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Tarrytown Music Hall one of first on New York's Historic Business Preservation Registry

Tarrytown Music Hall one of first on New York's historic business registry 02:03

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- A historic business preservation registry is now in place thanks to a new initiative to celebrate and honor some of New York's oldest businesses.

Tarrytown Music Hall, a cultural crown jewel in Westchester County, is one of the first to be listed, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported Monday.

"This is a beloved place. We're taking care of it for awhile. Somebody's gonna come after us, and that sense of continuity really is what's remarkable and special about working here," said Executive Director Bjorn Olsson.

The Tarrytown Music Hall has been welcoming patrons since 1885, the gilded age when captains of industry built mansions in this Hudson River town.

"Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson have spoken here. We've seen benefit shows featuring Irving Berlin," Olsson said.

B.B. King, the B-52's, and many more too.

The hall survived the 1918 Spanish Flu, as well as the 460-day mandated shutdown during the COVID pandemic, thanks to love and support from the community.

"People kept their memberships. They said 'Hey, don't refund my tickets. Just stay there so that you can be there for when this thing is over. I'll be back,'" Olsson said.

The love is shared by State Senate Leader and Acting Lieutenant Gov. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who nominated the music hall for the inaugural New York State Historic Business Preservation Registry.

"The character, the history, the beauty of the architecture, the acoustics, these things you don't get a chance to really experience," Stewart-Cousins said.

The hall became a not-for-profit cultural organization in the 1980s.  

Placement on the registry brings marketing and promotion assistance from the state to keep patrons in the seats for years to come.

Just six percent of performing arts venues in the U.S. opened before 1900, putting Tarrytown Music Hall in elite company.

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