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President's Letter 2012

May 22, 2012

Dear Members and Friends of Bowne House:

On June 28 at 7:00 p.m., the members of the Bowne House Historical Society (Society) will hold their 2012 Annual Meeting. We are particularly pleased to hold this year’s meeting at the Bowne House, located at 3701 Bowne Street, Queens, New York.

Visitation at the house increased this year. Over 600 visitors, including 86 local public school students, have visited the house and site since. For the Flushing Historic Holiday House tour, some of the collections were returned to the house from storage and portions of the first floor, such as the late 18th-century parlor, were reopened to the public. Over 100 people showed up for the event.  The Society would like to acknowledge Resident Manager Anne Perl de Paul for her efforts to accommodate more visitors.

Progress continues to be made toward the first phase of restoration. The project has been approved by the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation (Parks) and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation. The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission is currently reviewing the restoration approach and technical methods.  Once all approvals are obtained, the Society has asked Parks and the Historic House Trust that work begin promptly. 

The Bowne House Visitor Center is in the final stages of design and, the Society hopes the construction documents phase will commence soon.  However, the design of the Visitor Center has to be approved by many agencies and the process has proven challenging and time-consuming. The Society is making every effort to move this project along including monthly meetings with Parks and the Historic House Trust hosted and attended by the Queens Borough President and her staff.

We would like to extend a special thank you to Queens Borough President Helen Marshall who has pledged an additional $1,000,000 in public funding toward completing the rest- oration. This brings the total funds raised for the restoration and visitor center to some $5,650,000 with another $401,000 pending from the State of New York.  This could not have been possible without the support of elected officials like President Marshall and our membership. 

Other donors that have helped advance the mission of the Bowne House Historical Society include: Bowne Family Foundation, Colonial Lords of Manor in America, Flushing Cemetery Association, Gerson Family Foundation, Hoerle Foundation, Octogon Foundation, Queensborough Hill Community Church, Valley Charitable Trust, and Lothar Von Ziegesar Foundation.

The Bowne House continues to serve as a laboratory for learning.  Twenty-nine high school and university interns assisted with various research and other efforts while advancing their studies.  These students came from Bayside High School, Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, Binghamton University SUNY, Queens College, Stuyvesant High School, and St John’s University, among others.  

One Bowne House intern, “Kathy” Yun Hsiang Sun came from the “Senior Service America” Program run by Chinese American Planning Council. Kathy helped update membership and mailing lists and worked with the software used to manage the house’s rare and significant collection.

The Bowne House also continues to serve a community leader. The Society has helped with maintenance and planting in the surrounding historic parks: Weeping Beech Park on Bowne Street and Daniel Carter Beard Mall on Northern Boulevard in partnership with the Downtown Historic Flushing Beatification Project.  Bowne House spearheaded and organized a My Park Day Project in both spring and fall and planted

I would also like to acknowledge our pro-bono legal team at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, LLP, who have continued to provide sound advice and guidance.

Plans are underway for a celebratory event and fundraiser for October. You will be receiving an official invitation.  We hope you will consider joining us.  

If you are a current member or Life Member, please review the enclosed forms and sign and return the Ballot. If you would like to join or make an additional contribution, or donate to our Challenge Grant for the Endowment, we would be particularly grateful.

Thank you again for your support of Bowne House, and we hope to see you at the Annual Meeting.

Sincerely,

Morris Hylton III
President

Enclosures: Notice of Annual Meeting
                   Annual Meeting Agenda
                   Proxy and Ballot
                   Membership Dues and Membership Referral
                   Pledge Form/Pledge Payment Reminder
                   Endowment form
                   Return envelope


 

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