Snug Harbor Cultural Center
Snug Harbor: June 2005 Park of the Month
Staten Island's Sailors Snug Harbor is June's Park of the Month. Staten Island is the "borough of parks," replete with nearly 7,500 acres of parkland, which makes up around 25% of the City's public greenspaces. Sailors Snug Harbor is located on the north shore of Staten Island at the intersection of Richmond Terrace, Kissell Avenue and Snug Harbor Road.
"Staten Island is the borough of parks, and Sailors Snug Harbor is one of its great attractions," said Commissioner Benepe. "From the beautiful collection of 19th century buildings to the soon-to-be-completed Tuscan garden, Sailors Snug Harbor has something for everyone. I invite Staten Islanders and New Yorkers alike to take advantage of the many free events and concerts, including Harmony Day on June 12, and the Summer Theater Series."
Over 250,000 people visit Sailors Snug Harbor each year to enjoy a variety of activities, including concerts, dance and dramatic performances at the Music Hall; contemporary art exhibits at the Newhouse Galleries; a children's museum, art labs, and the John A. Noble Collection, a collection of maritime art. The park is also home to the Staten Island Botanical Gardens, one of the largest in the New York area, and the Connie Gretz Secret Garden and the New York Chinese Scholar's Garden, the first and only classical Chinese Garden in the United States.
Sailors Snug Harbor was founded in 1801 as a home for retired sailors, eventually becoming a cultural center for both Staten Island and the rest of New York. The 83.3-acre park is home to an architecturally diverse collection of buildings, including a chapel and music hall. Facing the water are five Greek-revival style buildings, one of which is the home of the Main Hall of the Newhouse Gallery. The Chapel, built in 1854, with its romantic Anglo-Italian style of architecture, is also a landmark.
Parks & Recreation is in the middle of three major projects at Sailors Snug Harbor, including the $1.3 million reconstruction of the wetlands at Snug Harbor Road that will reduce sediment to improve the habitat when completed this fall. A second project includes the $4.1 million transformation of an existing 14,000 square foot building into the new headquarters of the Staten Island Botanical Gardens. The four story building, which should be completed by fall 2006, will include exhibition, educational and office space. The $1.6 million reconstruction of a Tuscan garden will also be completed by fall 2006.