Cornell Museum at Delray Beach Center for the Arts
Housed in the restored 1913 Delray Elementary building, the charming Cornell Museum of Art and American Culture is one of the surprises that people discover in Delray Beach. The Museum offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It was dedicated in 1990 as the visual arts center of Old School Square and named in honor of Delray residents Harriet W. and George D. Cornell.
The architecture, formally known as “Masonry Vernacular,” makes the building unique in the downtown area. This style was used for several smaller buildings in the Old School Square Historic Arts District. Without the colorful exhibit banners and other signage, one would never guess that the building is actually a museum. During the restoration process, the original atrium and classrooms, which are now exhibition spaces, were restored to preserve the rare Dade County Pine floors, tall windows and open space. The only significant modification to the interior was to open the atrium up to the second floor, allowing for natural light to stream in and provide a more spacious feel.
The first floor houses two large galleries and the Angelique Tea Room, which is used for classes, receptions and other special events. The second floor, which can be accessed by two grand staircases (or an elevator) has three exhibition galleries and the children’s interactive gallery.
Exhibits rotate every three to four months and feature an eclectic mix of local, national and international fine art, crafts and pop culture.
The Cornell Museum is located to the south of the Crest Theatre building, and is connected to the Crest Theatre building’s Ocean Breeze Room and portico by a covered loggia.