Town of Westport awarded Smart Growth grant for Depot Improvements

Arrival at the Depot Theatre will be a lot SMOOTHER in 2020.

Westport, N.Y. – The Town of Westport has been awarded a Smart Growth grant to improve access to the Town-owned, historic circa 1876 train station building, which serves as a functioning Amtrak train station, a visitor information center, and the Adirondacks’ only professional Equity theatre, The Depot Theatre.

The Town of Westport owns the historic Depot building and maintains the parking area. The Depot Theatre staff worked collaboratively with Town employees and Supervisor Ike Tyler to develop a work plan and submit the grant application.

“The improved access to our iconic train station is long overdue,” said Ike Tyler, Supervisor, Town of Westport. “We’re grateful that the importance of investment in such an essential historic site, transportation hub, and cultural resource for this region was recognized.” 

The funds will be used for accessibility improvements, including repaving and re-striping the upper and lower parking lots, and installing a walkway with a handrail on the hill between the two lots, which will mitigate long standing problems.

“The potholed, crumbling driveway will be repaved and re-striped, ensuring that it’s safer, with all parking spaces clearly marked for those coming to catch a train or a theatre production,” said Kim Rielly, Executive Director of the Depot Theatre. “Safe access to the building is essential to the Town employees who maintain it, to the Amtrak passengers and theatre staff that utilize the building every day of the year, and of course, to our theatre patrons, who are going to be thrilled!”

Nearly $2 million in smart growth grants were awarded to 27 communities and organizations. Funding administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation is awarded to municipalities and not-for-profit organizations that responded to a Request for Applications announced earlier this year through DEC’s Smart Growth Grant Program. Grants for projects in the Catskill and Adirondack parks were made available by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund.

For more information about the Town of Westport, visit, and for information about the Depot Theatre, visit


About the Depot Theatre

The Depot Theatre is a non-profit, professional theatre located in a historic, functioning 1876 train station in Westport, N.Y., and operates under an agreement with Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States. In addition to its volunteer board of trustees, the theatre depends on the support and generosity of its loyal donors, volunteers and community members. Committed to promoting and providing exposure to the performing arts in the Adirondacks, the Depot Theatre invites all to “Take a journey without leaving the station.” The Depot Theatre’s 2020 Season is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The season productions are made possible, in part, by the Essex County Arts Council’s Cultural Assistance Program Grant with funding provided by Essex County.

The busy Depot Theatre parking lot will be repaved and re-lined for the 2020 season, courtesy of a Smart Growth grant.