Conference House Park
The Daily Plant : Thursday, June 7, 2001
A NEW PARK PAVILION TO BE BUILT IN STATEN ISLAND
The new Conference House Park Pavilion in Staten Island will be a great public structure in itself, twice as pleasant for its proximity to the historic Conference House. The two public structures-the pavilion and the Conference House-will mutually attract visitors and offer complementary experiences of rest and education. Staten Island Borough President Guy (Rough Guy) Molinari; Vito (South Shore) Fossella, Congressman; Stephen (Leafy) Fiala, Council Member; Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern, Marie (Sundance) Bodnar, District Manager for Community Board 3; and Thomas (Richmond) Paulo, Staten Island Borough Commissioner participated in a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, May 29, 2001.
The Conference House is named for its role in the first days of the Revolutionary War. In its two story, fieldstone structure, Admiral Lord Howe, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Edward Rutledge met to negotiate an end to the brewing American/British conflict. It was just two months after the Declaration of Independence had been signed, and the Redcoats gathered at the home of Tory colonel, Christopher Billop. Admiral Howe offered to end the conflict if the Colonies would return to British rule, but on the point of independence, the Redcoats could not be moved. For the British, who controlled New York City and the provinces of Staten Island and Long Island, victory seemed certain. The historic conference failed in its mission to avert war, and the Redcoats left aboard Lord Howe's ship. The Revolutionary War marched forward-for seven years.
After the American victory, New York State seized control of the Conference House. The building then served as a home for families, a hotel, and a rat poison factory. Parks relieved the building of this grim function, when the house and surrounding 265 acres were given to the City in April of 1926. Nine years later, a concert pavilion was built on the grounds. Visitors to the pavilion enjoyed views of the waterway, the Raritan Bay, and the landmark house. In 1963 the pavilion was burned and then demolished. On Tuesday, May 29, 2001 the rebuilding began. The new pavilion will invite and refresh. It will bring visitors into meetings and informal conference. It will draw different people into one space as the Conference House once did.
Borough President Molinari's $1.2 million contribution makes possible the building of a new 3,000 square foot pavilion on what is almost the original site. The pavilion will be constructed with woodpile foundation, a wood structure, and a metal roof.
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Thursday, June 9, 1988)
ART COMMISSIONER & MUNICIPAL ART SOCIETY PUBLISH GUIDE TO OUTDOOR SCULPTURE
The Art Commissioner and Municipal Art Society Guide to Manhattan's Outdoor Sculpture will be published by Prentice Hall, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., this month. With a forward by Mayor Edward I. Koch, the book is co-authored by Margot Gayle, a long-time preservationist and writer, and Michele Cohen, an art historian and director of the Art Commissioner's citywide sculpture survey.
The first comprehensive guide of its kind, the book described more than 300 sculptures that grace Manhattan's streets, parks, plazas and other public spaces. Illustrated with photographs of each sculpture, the guide includes such celebrated masterpieces as Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Sherman Monument at Grand Army Plaza, and Isamu Noguchi's The Red Cube in lower Manhattan.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang together."
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
Directions to Conference House Park
Know Before You Go
Conference House Park
Due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy, Lenape Playground is closed until further notice.
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