The building is a Greek revival building from 1861. The Stowe High School worked there until 1973. Helen Day donated a trust fund to restore the building and open a library in Stowe.
The Stowe Free Library and Helen Day Art Center opened in 1981. The building is one of the historical buildings in Stowe.
Helen Day Art Center
The Helen Day Art Center owes its existence to one woman’s dream of a library and art center for the Town of Stowe: Doctor Lichtenthaler. Back in the 1950’s, she persuaded her patient, friend and companion, Helen Day Montanari to leave a Trust in her will for the Establishment of a Library and Art Center for the Town of Stowe. The wording of that Trust is really what created The Helen Day Art Center because without the words, other could have been the destiny for the old School building.
After the Library took over the first floor, Historic Stowe Inc. offered to develop a management plan for the second floor, based on its use as a cultural center for the Stowe Community. They gathered a Committee of community members who were interested in the project and would represent various segments within the community, the Art Center was born. In the early 80’s, the Helen Day Art Center was Incorporated as a non-profit corporation and appointed by the Town to act as its agent in lieu of Historic Stowe. That appointment has been renewed and stands today.
The Helen Day Art Center grew out of a community project to save an historic building and to utilize it for the benefit of the community. The ideas and programs came from community, through the Board or committees or volunteers, and the community felt they were a part of the Art Center.
Through its history the Helen Day had become an important and vibrant part of the Stowe Community offering exhibits, art classes and festivals. The Helen Day has reached out to a regional constituency and is recognized as a leader in the art world of Vermont and New England.