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Copland House Purchases Former Melrose School in Brewster



The former Melrose School in Brewster was recently sold to Copland House Inc., for $3 million. Photo provided by Houlihan Lawrence Commercial.

A nonprofit arts organization plans to turn the former Melrose School in Brewster into a center for music and other creation, having recently finalized the purchase of the property.

According to Houlihan Lawrence Commercial, the former school on Federal Hill Road was purchased for $3 million by Copland House Inc. It was previously owned and run by the Community of the Holy Spirit.

Copland House, a national historic landmark, is based in Cortlandt and was built around 1940 as composer Aaron Copland’s home, where he lived until his death in 1990. The location has hosted hundreds of aspiring composers and fellows since it became functional in 1998. The Brewster site is expected to serve as a second venue to offer programs.

According to reports, Copland House plans to turn the 37,000-square-foot building in Putnam into a space to provide composer-led creative teams to collaborate on projects. Plans also call for it to be transformed into a multipurpose venue for concerts, studios, community events and more.

The former school includes a library, gymnasium, auditorium, commercial kitchen, classrooms and office space, several residence quarters and a private apartment.

“The transaction represents a big milestone for the Town of Southeast,” said Tom LaPerch of Houlihan Lawrence Commercial, the lead selling broker in the transaction. “Copland House plans on working with the town to bring a wide spectrum of musical and cultural programs to the community. This will enhance the quality of life for all town residents in Southeast and the surrounding area.”

LaPerch is also chairman of the Southeast Planning Board/Architectural Review Board, and recused himself from the board’s vote to approve the sale.

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