Friday, 10 December 2010 00:00
This Saturday, Dec. 11, the Roslyn Landmark Society will kick off the Holiday Season with “The Race is On to Restore the Mackay Horses” fundraiser. The event will be held on that date from 5:00 - 7:30 p.m. at the North Shore Architectural Stone Gallery Showroom 66. The gallery is located on Glen Head Road, Glen Head.
High atop Roslyn once stood Harbor Hill (ca. 1901-1947), the estate of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence H. Mackay. Architect Stanford White based the design of Harbor Hill on the French Renaissance Chateau Maisons-Lafitte. The 648 acre estate featured 50 rooms and ultimately included, with further architectural work by Warren & Wetmore and Guy Lowell, a casino, stables and elaborate formal gardens where two “horse tamer” themed statues once stood. Modeled after The Marly Horses, which were commissioned by Louis XIV in Paris and are now on display in the Louvre, the imposing pink marble statues – the Mackay versions - stood 33 feet tall and weighed 25 tons each.
When Harbor Hill was demolished in 1947, one of the horses was moved to Roslyn High School where it now stands. The second statue remained on a portion of the Mackay property which later became a private residence. In 2010, that home was sold and the statue was donated to the Town of North Hempstead, and thereafter came under the care of the Roslyn Landmark Society. The Gerry Charitable Trust funded the statue’s initial move. Franklin Hill Perrell, executive director of Roslyn Landmark Society commented on the physical presence of the statue and the feelings it evoked, “to see the horse, to look at the imposing head and see marks of the sculptor’s tools is an experience whose immediacy and tangibility is indescribable – the sense of movement is palpable and seems to be imbued with life.”
After 100 years of exposure to severe weather, substantial work is now required in order to return the “newly rescued” statue back to its original glory. Roslyn Landmark Society has charged North Shore Architectural Stone (NSAS), one of New York’s leading restorers and fabricators of statuary and stonework, with the work. Owner Hugh Tanchuck, who along with his wife and co-owner Maggie Tanchuck will host the December 11 fundraiser, were “struck by the beauty and historical significance of the statue.”
NSAS has already moved the mammoth statue to their gallery in Glen Head and is poised to begin the restoration process. Roslyn Landmark’s Perrell added, “the Tanchucks have created one of the most unusual spaces for art on Long Island — it’s the perfect venue for the Mackay Horse; a renaissance atelier replete with carvings of nymphs and satyrs, swag bedecked urns, wrought iron sconces and other relics.”
Adding to the evening’s festivities will be Bazzini Wines who imported a special selection of fine wines from their Canneto Pavese and Rovescala vineyards in Italy especially for the fundraiser.
Upon completion of the restoration, Roslyn Landmark Society plans to place this Mackay Horse in Gerry Park, which is located in the heart of Roslyn’s Historic District so that it may once again take its rightful place in Long Island history.