Everyone interested in the future of the Cedarmere museum is invited to attend a meeting of the proposed Friends of Cedarmere on Saturday, March 7 at 10:00 a.m. at the Trinity Episcopal Church Parish House in Roslyn.
Cedarmere, the home of William Cullen Bryant.
Cedarmere was the home of the prominent 19th-century poet and newspaper editor William Cullen Bryant. A facility of the Nassau County Department of Parks, a group of interested citizens from throughout Nassau County is proposing the creation of a Friends organization to build support for the site. "It is a beautiful place, and provides the only public access to the waterfront in Roslyn Harbor," said local resident Arleen Lopez, a member of the Friends steering committee. "It should remain open to the public."
"We really have no idea what the county plans on doing with the place," added Paul Baserman of Sea Cliff, another steering committee member. "Cedarmere was given to Nassau County by Bryant's great-granddaughter to preserve and operate as a museum and memorial to the poet, and they have a responsibility to do so."
A major concern shared by the organizers of the Friends group is that the county, as a result of its current fiscal crisis, will discontinue maintenance of the house and grounds and allow the site to deteriorate. "Anyone who saw the place before it was opened to the public in 1994 will remember how overgrown it was," said retired Cedarmere director Harrison Hunt. "If not maintained, Cedarmere's beautiful gardens and vistas will quickly go back to the way they were. Cedarmere has often been described as 'a little gem' and 'one of the most beautiful places in Nassau County.' It deserves to get the care it needs."
In addition to lobbying for county support of Cedarmere, the Friends, when fully organized and recognized by the Parks Department, would undertake fundraising efforts for the site as well.
Anyone who would like to help save Cedarmere is encouraged to attend this meeting, or to contact the Friends steering committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 965-1590.
Eileen Krieb, the executive coordinator for the Department of Parks, Recreation & Museums, acknowledged that Cedarmere remains temporarily closed while restoration work on the main building is completed.
She said that the Long Island-based engineering firm of Thorton, Tomasetti has done a needs assessment on not only the Cedarmere property, but on other historic sites in Nassau County.
A not-for-profit organization, Ms. Krieb added, has contributed to the restoration of the mill area, plus the garage and the house's single apartment.
In addition, monies from both the 2004 and 2006 environmental bond acts will contribute to the restoration of wetlands near Cedarmere's mill.
"Our goal is to reopen Cedarmere to the public," Ms. Krieb said, adding that her office hopes to meet with the group Friends of Cedarmere once the current budget process also is completed.
-Joe Scotchie contributed to this article.