Another $350K acquired for Roslyn Grist Mill renovations

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Another $350K acquired for Roslyn Grist Mill renovations
A construction crew installs a restored beam into the Roslyn Grist Mill. (Photo courtesy of the Roslyn Landmark Society)

With the restoration of the Roslyn Grist Mill continuing through the COVID-19 pandemic, the project’s organizer has announced two major donations to assist in making the centuries-old structure into an educational center.

The Roslyn Landmark Society reported Monday that two separate donations received in the last month would go toward the grist mill project.

The first donation was the result of two match-challenge campaigns, which raised a total of $100,035 from the Roslyn Landmark Society’s preservation fund, membership, sponsors and Roslyn High School students.

The second also came from an organization close to home. The Gerry Charitable Trust awarded the project $250,000 for restoration efforts. This trust had been established by Peggy N. and Dr. Roger G. Gerry, founders of the Roslyn Landmark Society and longtime advocates for Roslyn’s restoration and preservation efforts.

Landmark society President Howard Kroplick said, “As a result of this wonderful support, the restoration of the mill will continue this summer. Currently, the historic 1700s wood timber frame is being restored and plans are underway for the construction of a new water-tight foundation. Our goal is to lower the structure back to street level within the next year.”

Jennifer Lister, the society’s executive director, said: “The Roslyn Landmark Society is fortunate to have loyal supporters of the organization and this historic project. We look forward to seeing the Roslyn Grist Mill being restored and enjoyed by generations to come.”

A rare surviving Dutch framed watermill built between 1715 and 1741, the mill acted as Roslyn’s economic foundation for centuries. It was converted into a tea house and museum in 1920,  remaining open for 54 years before it was closed and ownership was transferred to Nassau County for a future restoration.

The completed building will be transformed into an educational center and serve as an attraction to residents and visitors to the historic Village of Roslyn.

After over 40 years of planning and four years of fundraising, restoration began in 2018, highlighted by the lifting of the building above street level on Jan. 23, 2020, in preparation for a new foundation. As a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, work was halted in March of that year. Construction resumed in August and fundraising efforts are continuing.

To date, $3.5 million has been raised to restore the grist mill, with grants and donations coming from New York state, trusts, Nassau County, the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation and the Roslyn community. The landmark society estimates that an additional $2 million will be needed.

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