The building dates to the early 20th century, and it had a long life before it became home to the Allied Arts Association.
It started out as a private residence. Then it became the Riverview Hotel.
It’s been offices, a barber shop, a library.
“It’s been through several iterations,” said Bob Allen, Allied Arts president.
Now, it’s in the midst of a facelift. Allied Arts — which moved into the building in the mid-1960s, remodeling and expanding it over the decades — is updating The Gallery at the Park.
“It hadn’t been remodeled for a while,” Allen said. “We felt the look was dated and the layout wasn’t ideal.”
It remains partially open during construction.
The project involves new paint, carpet and lighting in the park-side and town-side galleries, and a new ceiling in the town-side space, among other improvements.
Leaders of the nonprofit arts group planned to spend about $150,000 on the work, and Allen said the project is coming in under budget.
Siefken & Sons Construction is the contractor.
Allied Arts formed in the late 1940s, gathering at schools and other spots before moving into its home on Lee Boulevard at Howard Amon Park.
The group aims to celebrate and promote local art and artists. It puts on the popular Art in the Park event each summer, arranges workshops and classes for kids and adults, provides scholarships and awards and displays and sells works by Mid-Columbia artists.
The current exhibit, called “Empty Bowls,” runs through April 3.
Two to three dozen artists made and donated bowls, which are for sale for $20. Along with the bowl of their choosing, buyers also get a certificate for soup at a participating restaurant, including Fox and Bear Public House, Grill on Gage, Jack-Sons, Rosy’s Ice Cream and Diner, Andy’s North, Barnard Griffin Wine Bar and Eatery, SagePort Grille, Zinful Panini Grill & Wine Bar, Atomic Ale Brewpub & Eatery and Monterosso’s Italian Restaurant.
The money raised goes to Tri-Cities Food Bank. Bowls are going fast.
Allied Arts also is collecting nonperishable food during the exhibit.
The remodel work at Gallery at the Park is set to be complete by the end of the month. Allied Arts plans a celebration April 26.
For more information about Allied Arts, go to www.alliedartsrichland.org.