Saturday, April 25, 2009

Progress Made on Public-Private Partnership for Cedarmere

At a meeting earlier this month, Nassau County Parks Commissioner Jose Lopez and other county personnel informed the ad hoc Friends of Cedarmere steering committee that repairs and basic garden maintenance will continue at Cedarmere for the foreseeable future, but there are no plans to reopen the facility this year.

Located on Bryant Avenue in Roslyn Harbor, Cedarmere is the historic home of William Cullen Bryant (1794 to 1878), one of the most influential public figures of the 19th century. The statue of Bryant, above, was sculpted by Herbert Adams (1848 to 1945). It was installed in Bryant Park outside the main branch of the New York Public Library in 1911, when the library was completed. 

At the meeting with the steering committee, the county agreed to work with the committee in forming a friends group and provided some basic budget information needed for a business plan. The steering committee reported on the meeting with the county at a public meeting for Cedarmere supporters held at Trinity Church on April 25.

The next step is for the friends group to incorporate and present a preliminary business plan to the county. Meanwhile, tax deductible contributions to the Friends of Cedarmere can be made through the Roslyn Landmark Society. Make checks payable to Roslyn Landmark Society and specify Friends of Cedarmere on the check. 

Volunteers are needed. Expertise in business, law, grant writing, horticulture, and web design is particularly needed. The Friends of Cedarmere steering committee can be emailed at

“Anybody who was anybody in the 19th century was entertained at Cedarmere,” Paul Baserman said. A pianist and member of the steering committee, Mr. Baserman produced two recitals at Cedarmere last year. “Bryant is this area’s only direct link with Abraham Lincoln, and the gardens of the estate are jewels.”

Bryant's great granddaughter donated Cedarmere to the county in 1975. The facility opened to the public in 1994. Since then it has been publicly accessible on a limited basis (see Friends of Cedarmere to Meet, April 18; Save Cedarmere: Contact Nassau County Representatives, March 28; Important Local, Publicly Owned Historic Site in Jeopardy, March 9).

Bryant Avenue and Roslyn’s Bryant Memorial Library are named for Bryant. He is buried in Roslyn in the cemetery located on the north side of Northern Boulevard just east of the Long Island Rail Road trestle.

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