Jay Heritage Center Receives $1.5 Million Gift. Launches Plans for Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Exhibit and Performance Center

Rye, NY, December 6, 2022 — It is with immense gratitude that the Jay Heritage Center (JHC) announces receipt of a transformative gift of $1.5 million to open the Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Exhibit and Performance Center at the Jay Estate in Rye, New York.

This landmark donation will help restore and rehabilitate an existing historic Carriage House at our campus, designed in 1906-7 by the notable New York architect Frank A. Rooke. The space has already proven itself ideally suited as a community gathering place for lectures, concerts, art exhibits, and more–drawing thousands of visitors from the tri-state area. The generosity of the Wachenheim family will expand JHC’s ability to host an even more robust calendar of offerings and attract world-class musicians and artists to share their work.

The building’s rich mahogany ceilings, terracotta brick floors, and enameled walls produce the most unique acoustics. Chamber ensembles from Juilliard and Yale’s Opera Project, in addition to jazz, cabaret, and a cappella groups, have previously delighted audiences of 150 and more at this site. The high ceilings and accessible floor plan have made the building perfect for photography and art exhibits as well. The refurbishment will include finishing bright, skylit ateliers on the second floor, where invited composers, writers, and artists can be inspired.

Matthew Aucoin

As with other preservation projects at the Jay Estate, plans will conserve original materials but also incorporate sustainable features wherever possible. The addition of this premiere arts and performance venue to our 23-acre campus is nothing short of visionary and we are truly thankful to Sue and Ed Wachenheim for their leadership and generosity. A celebratory concert with composer, pianist, and MacArthur genius grant recipient Matthew Aucoin is planned for March 26, 2023 at 4 p.m.

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The Jay Heritage Center (JHC) is dedicated to continuing its transformation of the 23-acre Jay Estate into a vibrant educational campus, hosting innovative and inclusive programs about American history, social justice, architecture and environmental stewardship.

We hope to encourage people of all ages to understand, preserve and protect our shared heritage and to inspire the future historians, civic advocates, and stewards of our fragile cultural and natural resources.