By The Island Now
The Roslyn Landmark Society has been awarded a $300,000 grant in May from a private trust for the restoration of the Roslyn Grist Mill. A total of $2.26 million has been raised for this historic project from grants, awards and donations from New York State, Nassau County, trusts, foundations and members of the Roslyn Landmark Society.
Howard Kroplick, president of the Roslyn Landmark Society, said “this grant allows the current restoration efforts to proceed without interruption throughout 2019. It also provides the monies required for matching funds from our New York State grant awards. Once fully restored, the building will provide historical, early industrial and educational opportunities as well as advance economic investment and growth in the area. We thank all our sponsors and membership for their wonderful support.”
The Roslyn Grist Mill is a rare surviving Dutch-framed watermill built between 1715 and 1741 purposely built for industrial use rather than farming. It operated as a working water mill for over 150 years. On April 24, 1790, the owner of the grist mill Hendrick Onderdonk was visited by President George Washington in his Roslyn residence adjoining the grist mill. Washington referred to the grist mill in his diary. From 1920 to 1974, the grist mill building served as a tea house and was a tourist attraction to the village. The building was placed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places in 1986.
The long-awaited restoration of this historic mill began in November 2018. The initial phase of the restoration was completed in May including; safely staging the work site, stabilizing the structure, removal of mold, restoring power to the site, installing a temporary protective roof and removal of the front façade to re-establish the original form of the mill. By the end of the summer, it is expected that the building will be raised to street level for the first time in over 100 years, historic timber frame elements will be dismantled for restoration and the wooden “husk” frame which contains gears and shafts for driving and supporting the millstones will be removed and stored for future restoration.
The restoration efforts for the Roslyn Grist Mill will be celebrated at the upcoming Roslyn Landmark Society 2019 Gala at the Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Studio and Gardens in Old Westbury on Friday, June 14, 2019