ATLAS NEWBURGH WORKSHOP & STUDIOS
Atlas Workshop & Studios in Newburgh, NY is a historic industrial factory converted into workshop & studios for artists, makers, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals seeking space in a dynamic environment, in an historic city just 60 miles north of NYC. We offer secure, private studios in a historic industrial building with 14' ceilings, hardwood floor, large operable windows with beautiful natural light. The building has been modernized for 24-hour access, wi-fi, heat, A/C, & is fully sprinklered. Tenants have access to freight elevators, loading dock, common area kitchen, off-street parking & photo studio.
ATLAS is also home to ATLAS INDUSTRIES, a design & manufacturing firm formed in 1993 by Joseph Fratesi and Thomas Wright to provide architecture, furniture, and product design services. In 2012, they relocated their office and workshop from Gowanus, Brooklyn to Newburgh, NY, and began the transformation of the 1920s industrial building into amazing light filled work spaces.
MOVE TO NEWBURGH
Thomas and Joseph established Atlas Industries in Gowanus, Brooklyn in 1993. Brooklyn then was not what Brooklyn is now, but even as it emerged from the long shadow of Manhattan, Gowanus clung to its gritty, industrial character. Our building was filled with artists and makers, and we immediately embraced both our small community, and the neighborhood. As our business grew, we took over more space, eventually occupying the entire first floor, and then buying the building. But the second floor remained a collection of artists and small businesses in various creative fields with whom we shared a relationship that went far beyond landlord/tenant.
Along the way Thomas moved to Beacon, NY, about fifty miles north of the city. In the course of looking at homes in the area, we made our first visit to Newburgh, and were immediately taken with it. A small city, but a city, not a town, now as broken and hard as it once was prosperous, the architectural stock astonished us. We drove the streets amazed at what we were seeing: the buildings, the history, the spirit.
Over the following years, we continually had it in the back of our minds that we’d move the business north, so when we’d outgrown our space, and I was ready to break with the city, we began looking at Newburgh real estate. One of the first buildings we saw listed was the one we eventually bought. At 55,000 square feet, it was much more space than we needed, but we immediately saw the opportunity to do in Newburgh what we’d done in Brooklyn, at a larger scale. Thomas had been in the area long enough to know that there was a large and vital creative community, and we wanted to establish a hub, an incubator, a way to bring together people who are passionate about creating.
Dating to 1920, the building belongs to an era when Newburgh was a thriving industrial center with, among other things, large-scale textile manufacturing. It was built by a company that made worsted yarn, and was successively used for clothing manufacturing, handbag manufacturing, carpet warehousing/distribution, and finally mattress manufacturing.
We bought the building in 2012, began extensive renovations, and moved our business up from Brooklyn a year later. Renovation, historic restoration, and build-out have continued, and our vision has been largely realized. We have a diverse, energetic group of tenants that includes artists, designers, photographers, musicians, and writers, many of whom have begun to talk, to work together, and to pollinate each other’s work. Our next projects in the building will be to open a showroom for our work, and a gallery.
Newburgh went the way of many northern industrial cities, losing jobs to cheaper labor first in other states, and then overseas. It lost its tax base, and was ravaged by failed urban renewal initiatives, corruption, crime, and poverty. But through it all there remained a palpable spirit and love for the city. It has serially been on the verge of bootstrapping itself, but never was able to turn the corner. We, and a brewery that opened in 2012, were the first businesses to settle in Newburgh in decades, and our reception has been enthusiastic and grateful. In addition to bringing much-needed jobs to the community, we have helped seed the idea that Newburgh is a place where exciting things are happening. And the city has noticed. A steady and widening stream of people are moving here, and falling in love with Newburgh in much the same way we did.