In late 2017, tenants vacated the first floor of Cedarmere, which Nassau County leased as official space in 2014. As of June 2018, the Friends of Cedarmere, the site’s nonprofit stewardship organization, is restoring the first floor rooms and expanding their on-site public programming. The Friends are also seeking a new long-term custodial agreement with Nassau County in addition to dedicated funding from the Hotel & Motel Occupancy Tax to support Cedarmere as an enhancement to the county’s tourism industry.
More funding, improved custodial/lease agreements, and a comprehensive site management plan is needed to avoid another cycle of deferred maintenance, deterioration, and closure, like the one Cedarmere experienced between 2009 and 2014.
Nassau County residents can help preserve Cedarmere as a publicly accessible historic site by letting your Nassau County Legislator know you support dedicated funding and a long-term management plan for Cedarmere that protects the site’s significant architecture and other features.
Look up your Nassau County Legislator HERE.
Get contact information for Nassau County Legislators HERE.
Originally built 1787
Village of Roslyn Harbor, Nassau County
One of the most picturesque spots in Nassau County, Cedarmere was the primary residence of William Cullen Bryant, a major 19th-century American poet and the influential editor of The New-York Evening Post for over 50 years. Cedarmere was bequeathed to Nassau County in 1975 by Elizabeth Love Godwin as a memorial to her great-grandfather, William Cullen Bryant, for public recreation and cultural purposes. From 1994 until 2009, Cedarmere was open to the public as a museum with exhibits about Bryant, tours of the house and grounds, as well as a variety of popular programs. After Nassau County closed the museum in 2009 due to financial concerns, the main house and gardens entered a cycle of deferred maintenance and deterioration. In 2014, the County leased the main house through the end of 2017 in exchange for maintenance and renovations to stabilize the structure. Cedarmere now stands poised for a return to public use as its donor intended. Unfortunately, the County has no long-term plan to successfully integrate public access and adaptive reuse while protecting the integrity of Cedarmere as a nationally significant historic resource.
Preservation Long Island advocates for the development of a long-range plan for Cedarmere that provides a framework for the following: 1.) Guidelines for maintenance and restoration work to preserve historic material and significant features while preventing cycles of deferred maintenance and deterioration; 2.) Clear provision for public access, programming, and interpretation of the site; 3.) Incentives and support to foster viable partnerships, such as a new custodial agreement with Cedarmere’s nonprofit stewards, the Friends of Cedarmere, that could include tax-derived funding allocations to promote the property as an enhancement to the County’s tourism industry.
Nassau County residents should communicate their support for dedicated funding and a long-term plan for public access and adaptive reuse at Cedarmere that protects the site’s significant architecture and other features. Contact your Nassau County Legislator as well as the Nassau County Supervisor and Parks Commissioner:
Look up your Nassau County Legislator here.
Get contact information for Nassau County Legislators here.
Nassau County Supervisor Laura Curran
Phone: (516) 571-3131
Office of the County Executive
1550 Franklin Avenue
Mineola, NY 11501
Nassau County Parks Commissioner Eileen Krieb
Email: EKrieb@nassaucountyny.gov Phone: (516) 572-0200
Parks Department Administrative Office
Eisenhower Park-Administration Building
Merrick Avenue and Stewart Avenue
East Meadow, NY 11554