FOHH wins prestigious award for restoration leadership!
We are excited and proud to announce that Friends of Harmony Hall ~ Jacob Sloat House have been awarded a 2016 Rockland County Executive's Historic Preservation Merit Award for our work at Harmony Hall. The Preservation Leadership Award is presented each year to individuals, groups and government agencies that have displayed outstanding leadership or continuing conribution to the preservation of the historic resources in Rockland County. FOHH was nominated for this year's award by Peter Bush, who is an avid preservationist and was a founding board member of FOHH. Peter's early leadership efforts helped to engage the interest of the Town of Ramapo, who purchased the mansion in 2006 as part of a town open space and preservation initiative, effectively saving Harmony Hall from demolition. Mr. Bush, who is the great-great grandson of Jacob Sloat, continues to play a critical role in the restoration of the mansion as an active and generous member of FOHH and as a preservation mentor to the board.
FOHH President Barbara Berntsen accepted the award on May 15, 2016 during a country supper sponsored by the Historic Society of Rockland County on the grounds of that organization's historic Jacob Blauvelt House. In addition to thanking Mr. Bush for his nomination, Ms. Berntsen thanked County Executive Ed Day for his support of local tourism, and of the important historic and cultural resources that help to define Rockland County. She also thanked FOHH member and HSRC President Clare Sheridan, former FOHH board member and Rockland County Historian Craig Long, and the Supervisor and Town Council of Ramapo for their vision and their continuing contributions to the Harmony Hall preservation effort. FOHH also congratulates the John Green Preservation Coalition of Nyack, who shared this year's Preservation Leadership Award with FOHH.
FOHH congratulates FOHH President Barbara Berntsen on her April election!
The Board of Trustees of FOHH are thrilled to announce that long-time Harmony Hall member and supporter, Barbara Berntsen, was elected during the April 28th annual meeting to serve as our new president. Barbara replaces Sloatsburg conservator and appraiser Kenneth Linsner, who served as president during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 program years. Under Ken's leadership, FOHH worked closely with the Town of Ramapo to complete essential restoration work on the mansion. That work included extensive repairs to the building's structural framework, replacement of the leaking 1848 roof and restoration of the mansion's original Yankee gutter system. During this period, Ken was also able to reveal original details about the buildings interior finishes, protect irreplaceable plaster molding from further deterioration, and see to minor plaster repairs and painting of the main, first-floor exhibition rooms, effectively preparing for the next stage of interior restoration activity now that the building's envelop is finally secure. Barbara, as FOHH liaison to the town and as chair of the FOHH Restoration Committee, worked hand-in-hand with Ken as interior and exterior projects moved forward. As a former FOHH president and a respected local leader, we are excited to invite Barbara back to the helm as we work with state and local partners to advance plans for the restoration of the mansion's front verandah and to complete exterior restoration details related to the southern and eastern facades of the building.
FOHH partners with Black Rock Gallaries of Bridgewater, CT to raise restoration funding, and regional awareness of the potential of a fully-restored Harmony Hall.
Black Rock Galleries of Bridgewater and Greenwich, CT, and FOHH are bringing a new concept to the greater Hudson Highlands area, while simultaneously helping to fund the much needed restoration of historic Harmony Hall. On-line auctions, previews, free appraisals and open consignment days are some of the newest events visitors can enjoy at Harmony Hall.
There was never a better time to become a member of Friends of Harmony Hall ~ Jacob Sloat House! For more information, click here.