Purpose and History
The purpose of the Dodge Pratt Northam Art and Community Center is to provide area residents with the opportunity to enjoy locally, high quality and affordable cultural programs. Strong community support given to the Center is very much appreciated and serves as an important indicator of the cultural pride and vitality of the people of the North Country. Programs, classes and workshops are offered throughout the year for adults and children.
In 1974 a dedicated group of civic minded residents formed a committee to have the beautiful “Pratt House” become the home of the art and community center. After much planning and repairs the house was admitted to the national Register of Historic Homes in 1975. The Center is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors.
The house was built in 1875 by Clark Dodge, who was a merchant and one of the founders of the First National Bank. His son Eugene Dodge was a banker and sold the house to Charles W. Pratt in 1894, who worked in the lumber and wood business. His son Walter, who followed in his father’s line of endeavors, left the house to his cousin, Hazel Northam, a Brooklyn undertaker, who died in 1972. Miss Northam willed the house to the Erwin Library, who still owns it today.
Azel J. Lathrop of Utica was the architect. He was a well-known designer, who did, among other buildings, the old First National Bank in Boonville, now the Dodge Memorial Building, and the famous Butterfield house in Utica and the Herkimer County Courthouse.
The red brick house on a limestone foundation is of Neo-French architecture of the late Victorian period. Notable are the slate mansard roof with cupola, grillwork and spire, as well as the dormers and cornices. The interior of the house is virtually as it was a century ago. The rooms remain the same, with dark carved woodwork, molded plaster ceilings, and some original wallpaper and carpets. There are four Florentine marble mantels, two complete with mirrors, an elegant pier glass enhanced with lambrequins, fine hardware and electrified gas fixtures. The dining room has been restored as a late 19th century dining room with its original parquet floor containing seven types of wood. The small room overlooking the balcony has original shutters, as all of the windows facing the road do, and was used as a sitting room and now hosts the Boonville Loom, donated to the Center. The grand staircase is hand crafted with newell post and beautiful lighting fixture. The third floor holds the old lead-lined cistern that provided rainwater to the upstairs bedrooms, which all contain their own sink and chamber pot storage; there was also water from wells or from the big spring up the street. The trapeze, which remains, was used by the Pratt family. The servants quarters is above the kitchen have wooden doors to close it off from the rest of the house. The art studio was converted from two rooms to create a large area for classes. The butler’s pantry remains intact and a dumb waiter remains between the servant’s area and the dining room inside the closet. The original drawing by J. B. Lanthrop of the house is displayed by the front entrance.
“The Center seeks to develop and strengthen creative skills, build self-esteem, develop a sense of self importance and individuality, encourage self-expression and stimulate the imagination through the arts.
Our goal is to raise generations that value the power, the passion and the significance of community, its history and the arts”.
Dodge Pratt Northam
Art and Community Center
106 Schuyler Street
Boonville, New York 13309
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Sponsor A Child for the Summer Programs
Sponsor a Child's Music Lessons (1 year)
Classes & Workshops
"A Creative Me" Programs for Kids
GIFT SHOP - Handcrafted Items
Hours: Monday 12:00 - 4:00
Tuesday - Friday 10:00 - 4:00
Saturday upon request