May 30, 2015
Dear Members and Friends of Bowne House:
On Tuesday, June 23 at 6 PM the members of the Bowne
House will hold their 2015 Annual Meeting. We will
meet at the museum, 37-01 Bowne Street and hope you
will join us there.
We are delighted to share good news with you – Phase
I, the Structural Stabilization and Exterior Restoration
of Bowne House is complete. This has been a very lengthy
and complex process, from the preparation of the Historic
Structures Report (HSR) in 2006 through the design
phase, and involving a team of preservation architects
and other consultants, followed by construction work.
The construction phase alone took two years.
We are now actively planning for the next phase, the
interior restoration of the museum. NYC DDC (Department
of Design and Construction) will be working with us
in planning and executing this phase, which involves
interpretation and restoration of sensitive interior
finishes, including plaster and paint as well as restoration
of wood flooring.
Once again, the HSR will guide the interior work.
This has been an active year. With the completion
of Phase I, we have resumed our onsite programs and
are accepting tours by appointment. To accommodate
requests and to engage our visitors, we have added
two educators who are knowledgeable about early American
history. We have updated and freshened our educational
programming, adding information discovered during the
Other activities included:
- Participation in the annual Historic House Holiday
Tour, December 7, 2014. We were one of a group of
7 sites in Flushing offering special holiday programming.
- With the help of our interns and educator, we mounted
an exhibit at the Flushing Library: “The Secret
Lives of Dresses”. A workshop for younger children
was held in conjunction with the exhibit.
- Our annual volunteer Appreciation Day cookout was
held in the garden during the summer.
- During the school year and through the summer,
teams of volunteers worked at the museum in a variety
Other noteworthy events:
Our 2013 intern, Lauren Brincat, gave a presentation
on our Bowne House collections at the Wintherthur
Furniture Forum, held in March. The Forum was titled:
From New Netherland to the Empire State: New York
Furniture. Also presenting was Peter Kenny, a member
of our Museum Advisory Committee.
We have several events planned for 2015. These include:
- The NY Landmarks Conservancy’s city-wide
Sacred Sites Weekend, May 16-17. Bowne House will
be one of three historic sites participating in Flushing.
We will join with the Friends Meeting House (1694
to celebrate this event. Congresswoman Grace Meng
and Dr. R. Scott Hanson will speak on Queens’ history
and its contributions to the principle of freedom
of conscience in America. Please check our
website for details of events.
- On May 16, we will once again participate in the
Yale University Day of Service. This is a national
program sponsored by university alumni; groups of
volunteers gather to perform community service.
- With help from a generous grant from Councilman
Peter Koo, 20th District, Queens, we are planning
a horticulture program – East-West Cultural
and Botanical Encounters, Pat II. The goal of the
program is to educate the public about Flushing’s
role as the cradle of early American horticulture.
We will be sponsoring a lecture on horticulture as
well as an exhibit. Please check our website for
- Bowne House is a member of the Landmarks50 Alliance,
a group of museums and cultural institutions organized
to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of New York Landmark
Preservation Law. Events began last year
and continue through 2015. As a member of the Alliance,
the Society is planning a very special celebration.
This will take place on October 10th, 2015, at the
museum. That morning, we will commemorate the 70th
Anniversary of the dedication of Bowne House as a
museum. October 10th is also the anniversary of the
original charter of the Town of Flushing. Please
plan to be with us for this celebration.
We have many people to thank this year. Most of all,
we are grateful to our many members who gave so generously
in order to get the restoration project underway. We
could not have managed without the support of our membership
and of our elected officials.
We would especially like to thank the following organizations
for their support: the Acorn Foundation, the Colonial
Lords of Manors in America, the Gerson Family Foundation,
The Octagon Foundation, New York Community Trust, The
Flushing Cemetery Association, Queensboro Community
Church, Parsons Family Trust, Pomeroy Foundation, Thorne
Foundation, Valley Foundation as well as the many individuals
who contributed to the museum.
I would also like to extend special thanks to our
pro-bono teams at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and
Garrison, LLP and Bolton St. John, who have provided
advice and guidance.
Thank you again for your support of Bowne House and
we hope to see you at the Annual Meeting.
Morris Hylton III
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