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Foundation Awards Grant to Continue Work on Olmsted House

We are delighted that the Staten Island Foundation is awarding us a $50,000 grant to continue our work at the Olmsted/Beil house, where Frederick Law Olmsted began his work on landscape design.

This follows an initial $25,000 grant from the Foundation in 2020 that contributed to $100,000 of stabilization work on the landmark home. We also got the house listed on the National Register of Historic Places which makes it eligible for additional state and federal support.

“It is very much the Foundation’s pleasure to be able to support Landmark’s valuable work at the Olmsted-Beil site,” said Laura Jean Watters, Executive Director of the Staten Island Foundation. “The expertise and resources you all bring are so important to our community.”

The new grant will allow us to bring light into the house by restoring deteriorated and vandalized windows, removing plywood from boarded-up window openings, and installing protective plexiglass panels. We also plan to evaluate the building’s electrical system and fill a deep depression in the front yard. Earlier work restored foundation walls, waterproofed the basement, shored up beams and other structural supports, and dismantled unstable brick piers and beams that once supported a porch.

The City bought the house and grounds from the Beil family in 2006 declaring it a City Park. But the City failed to maintain it. We are working in cooperation with the City Parks Department and Historic House Trust. An ambitious local group, The Friends of Olmsted/Beil, has been doing extensive programming about Olmsted and the property. We hope the house and grounds will eventually be open to the public.

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