Hempstead House gets $245K state grant

Hempstead House gets $245K state grant

The Sands Point Preserve Conservancy received a $245,000 state grant to repair a portion of the historic Hempstead House as part of the state’s Regional Economic Development Council Awards.

The grant, which was announced Dec. 21, will fund repair of a section of the roof of the 1912 house that has water damage, Beth Horn, managing director of the conservancy, said.

“This grant will help us fix a portion of the roof,” she said. “It’s something that needs to be done as soon as possible because of water damage over the years.’’

The conservancy is trying to spread awareness for the house, which will help Nassau County, the home’s owner, fund future repairs, Horn said.

Horn said although the grant will repair a portion of the roof, much of the exterior needs extensive repairs.

“The mansion itself is structurally sound, but there is a tremendous need for restoration of the exterior of the house,” she said. “This grant helps with a certain part of the roof, but more work needs to be done to repair stonework and window lintels.”

Horn said the county completed an assessment of the house and will ultimately be responsible for the restoration work.

The preserve’s Nassau County liaison could not be reached for comment.

“We’re doing this with the county,” Horn said. “We know they are working to secure funds, and the conservancy is trying to build awareness about the preserve and the projects that need funding.”

Hempstead House is one of four mansions on the former Guggenheim Estate, which was created by Howard Gould in 1901. The Gold Coast estate served as a summer residence for the Guggenheim family, including Harry F. Guggenheim and his wife, Alicia Patterson, founders of Newsday.

“It’s a vibrant building where we hold programs of all different types,” Horn said. “Hempstead House is historically significant because it embodies a time period in our American culture – the Gatsby era. We want to invite the community in to see and enjoy this magnificent home for themselves.”

The 50,000-square-foot, three-story mansion is rented by movie and television companies for filming, Horn said, but is also used for music concerts, seasonal celebrations, education and wellness programs and the annual Halloween Ball, all presented by the conservancy.

Almost half of the conservancy’s budget comes from the rental fees charged for filming and private events, Horn said, so the mansion is important to the preserve historically – and for its future.

“We hold many beautiful events in the Hempstead House for the public,” Horn said. “We’ll hold Winterfest on February 5th, which is the first of our seasonal celebrations in 2017.”

“State Sen. Jack Martins has given the conservancy a capital grant of $250,000, which serves as the required match for this grant,” Horn said. “Together, these two grants will enable us to complete an urgent repair to the roof. We are very fortunate that these two grants came in within a few months of each other.”

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