The national park is holding a grand opening weekend, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 24, and Sunday, May 25, to celebrate the completion of 10 years and over $5 million in restoration work at the Weir House, Weir Studio and Young Studio, buildings never before open to the public.
No on-site parking will be available during the grand opening weekend. Visitors should park at Branchville Elementary School, at 40 Florida Road, Ridgefield. A free shuttle service will travel between the school and park continuously between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Park volunteers and rangers will be giving tours of the house and two artists' studios, which belonged to Impressionist painter Julian Alden Weir and his son-in-law sculptor Mahonri Young as part of the grand opening event.
The buildings had been closed to the public since the site became a national park in 1990. At the time, artist Sperry Andrews lived in the house, where he stayed with his wife until his death in 2005.
Each building has been restored to different time period representing the artists who have lived there. The park's superintendent, curator, collections manager, and park rangers, all involved with the restoration process, will be on hand to answer questions in each of the new buildings during the grand opening event.
In addition to the newly open buildings, there will be a special access to the Artist-in-Residence Studio, a new exhibit of Sperry Andrews' paintings, and a display of works by local, contemporary artists for sale in the visitor center.
The park encourages visitors to bring smart phones and tablets to share photos from the weekend using the hashtag, #WeirOpen, to share the experience.
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