Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is the result of more than three decades of restoration and development to convert the first home for retired sailors in the United States to a regional arts center. Snug Harbor is a place where history, architecture, visual art, theater, dance, music and environmental science come together and provide dynamic experiences for all ages. It is the largest ongoing adaptive reuse project in America, consisting of 28 buildings, and is one of New York City’s unique architectural complexes and historic landscapes. Majestic Greek-revival buildings, the City’s first designated landmarks, present exhibitions on historical subjects and contemporary art.
Nestled within the grounds of Snug Harbor are several beautiful gardens all serving different purposes for the community. The Botanical Garden consists of displays that represent the variety of flora that can be manipulated to conform to what is desired, whether it be aesthetic or functional. Throughout history, gardens have reflected landscape styles of various periods and the ways in which people view their relationship to nature. Remaining true to this purpose, the Botanical Garden includes a number of gardens which include representations from specific periods and places that coexist alongside more contemporary interpretations. The gardens are enjoyed for their individual qualities, used as educational tools, for recreational activities such as walking, jogging or picnics and as backdrops for public programs.
To create a vibrant center for the arts, modeled on the Smithsonian Institution. Our vision is to create a regional arts destination that fosters both artistic excellence and a spirit of community”. In support of this mission, the Center’s administration and board adopted the following goals:
To create a welcoming environment that attracts and sustains a diverse spectrum of first-class artists and a broad and diverse audience.
To preserve and interpret Snug Harbor’s maritime heritage, as well as its historical and architectural significance.
To enhance audience participation through a wide array of programming that integrates the humanities into everyday life and increase commitment to the arts.
To build audience participation through the creative use of outreach and development strategies.
To adapt and preserve Snug Harbor’s buildings, architectural heritage and land for public use.