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Support FOBH in our efforts to promote and restore the Olmsted-Beil House historic site.

Credit: Adriano Chinellato

Upcoming Events

FRIENDS OF OLMSTED-BEIL HOUSE PRESENTS

The Life of Mary Olmsted

Mary Olmsted 1863
Mary Olmsted 1863

 

FOBH Advisor and artist-historian Giuseppe Settinieri will present
on the life of Staten Islander Mary Cleveland Olmsted.
Mary is mainly known as the wife of journalist, social critic, and
Central Park co-designer Frederick Law Olmsted.

SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2024, 2-3 PM

CONFERENCE HOUSE PARK VISITORS CENTER

THIS IS A FREE EVENT

Registration is required.

In the News

FOBH awarded grant from The Staten Island Foundation

Friends of Olmsted-Beil House (FOBH) has received a grant from The Staten Island Foundation to contract with an historical architecture firm to prepare an historic preservation plan and schematic design for the Olmsted-Beil House. Frederick Law Olmsted lived at the Eltingville farmhouse and its 130-acre property from 1847 to 1855.
 
The farmhouse is a New York City landmark and is listed on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places. It is currently closed to the public while it awaits restoration. The site, currently 1.35 acres, is now a New York City park, Olmsted-Beil House Park.
 
The property was the site of many important landscape experiments by Olmsted, including the creation of winding paths and decorative features such as ponds, and planting of trees not native to the Northeast. These explorations would later be incorporated in the design of Central Park and many other Olmsted and Vaux projects. During Olmsted’s time at the property on Staten Island, he also ran a successful farm and tree nursery operation, including growing prize-winning pear trees.
 
The independent, private Staten Island Foundation has a mission of improving the quality of life in Staten Island.
 
“The Foundation Board congratulates the dedicated volunteers of FOBH,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director, Laura Jean Watters. “We consider this site an important piece of America’s story and are pleased to contribute to restoring this Staten Island jewel.”
 
With the award from The Staten Island Foundation, FOBH has contracted with Connolly & Hickey Historical Architects, of Cranford, NJ, an architecture firm that specializes in the restoration and rehabilitation of historic properties. The firm prepared a scope of work and estimate of probable cost in summer 2023 and has initiated its work to prepare the historic preservation plan and schematic design.
Thomas B. Connelly, Principal Architect for Connolly & Hickey Historical Architects; Margaret M. Hickey, Principal Historic Preservation Specialist for the firm; and Laura Jean Watters, Executive Director of The Staten Island Foundation.
Thomas B. Connelly, Principal Architect for Connolly & Hickey Historical Architects; Margaret M. Hickey, Principal Historic Preservation Specialist for the firm; and Laura Jean Watters, Executive Director of The Staten Island Foundation. The Foundation has awarded a grant to Friends of Olmsted-Beil House to contract with the Connelly & Hickey firm to prepare an historic preservation plan and schematic design for the house. Photograph by Lance J. Reha.

Friends of Olmsted-Beil House celebrates 5th anniversary

Friends of Olmsted-Beil House celebrates 5th anniversary
Credit: Lance J. Reha
November 18, 2023–Members and supporters of Friends of Olmsted-Beil House (FOBH), Staten Island, NY, gathered in November 2023 to celebrate 5 years since the incorporation of the non-profit group. FOBH is working to generate support for the restoration of the Olmsted-Beil House. Frederick Law Olmsted lived at the farmhouse and its 130-acre property from 1847 to 1855.
 
FOBH was founded in October 2018 by neighbors and former residents of the farmhouse intent on protecting it from development and deterioration. Since then, the group has conducted extensive clean-ups of the property and a robust program of lectures and family programming; created an educational exhibit and a classroom curriculum about Olmsted and landscape architecture; published a map about the property and a children’s book about the trees on the farm; and held several festivals on the park grounds. It also initiated the co-naming by New York City of a street nearby the park as “Frederick Law Olmsted Way” and hosted visits to the site by Olmsted scholars Charles E. Beveridge, PhD, and Faye Harwell, FASLA, RLA, and by Olmsted Network President and CEO, and Board of Directors Chair Anne “Dede” Neal Petri and Philip Schultz, respectively.  
 
FOBH is a member of the Olmsted Network and is grateful for the support Network leadership and members have given to efforts to protect and restore the farmhouse and to increase awareness of the house and its storied history among the local and national communities.
 

WNYC Radio Features Olmsted-Beil House Park in April 27, 2022 Report

WNYC Logo
 

In its Morning Edition show on April 27, 2022, WNYC Radio included an interview by producer Amy Pearl of FOBH Board member Tina Kaasmann-Dunn at Olmsted-Beil House Park. In the report, “Good Things: Olmsted Farmhouse,” Tina describes the improvements Olmsted made to the property, including making his first plantings ever. Upon seeing the trees planted by Olmsted, Amy exclaims, “The stars of the show are definitely the trees!”

Listen here: https://www.wnyc.org/story/good-things-olmsted-farmhouse.

Olmsted-Beil House Featured in Bowery Boys Episode

The Bowery Boys History Podcast

 

The Bowery Boys history podcast episode released on April 7, 2022–about Olmsted at the start of his career–features Olmsted-Beil House and Tosomock Farm, describing the site as “a historic place of inspiration.”

The episode can be found here ».

Many thanks to the Bowery Boys for including Olmsted’s Staten Island farmhouse in their story, and to Adrian Benepe and Olmsted 200 for championing the house and its significance.

Friends of Olmsted-Beil House Introduces
Discovery Map: Olmsted on Staten Island

This map illustrates some of the Staten Island locations associated with the life of pioneering landscape architect, author and social reformer Frederick Law Olmsted. Read more »

Olmsted on Staten Island Discovery Map

Friends of Olmsted-Beil House Hosts Visit by Preeminent Olmsted Scholars

On Sunday, October 3, 2021, Friends of Olmsted-Beil House hosted a visit to Olmsted-Beil House Park by preeminent Frederick Law Olmsted scholars Charles E. Beveridge, PhD, and Faye Harwell, FASLA, RLA. Dr. Beveridge is Series Editor of the Frederick Law Olmsted Papers, an ardent supporter of the preservation of Olmsted landscapes, and one of the founders of the National Association for Olmsted Parks. Ms. Harwell is an award-winning landscape architect and co-founder of the Rhodeside & Harwell landscape architecture and planning firm.  Read more »

Dr. Beveridge and Faye Harwell with FOBH Board members on Eltingville Beach 10-03-2021
FOBH Board members Jeffrey A. Tandul and Sean Ryan, Faye Harwell, Dr. Charles Beveridge, and FOBH Board member Tina Kaasmann-Dunn in front of the Olmsted-Beil House. Photo: Eileen Monreale
Dr. Beveridge and Faye Harwell with FOBH Board members on Eltingville Beach 10-03-2021
Dr. Beveridge and FOBH Board member Tina Kaasmann-Dunn on the grounds of the Olmsted-Beil House. The large tree on the right is one of the cedars of Lebanon planted by Olmsted that is still thriving on the property. Photo: Eileen Monreale

Press Coverage

Calls for New York State to Release Funds for Purchase of Property Abutting the Olmsted Farmhouse

The National Association for Olmsted Parks, with The Garden Club of America, National Recreation and Parks Association, City Parks Alliance, American Society of Landscape Architects, The Cultural Landscape Foundation, and Landscape Architecture Foundation, sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo to release the funds that New York State allocated to purchase 1.2 acres immediately adjoining the Olmsted farmhouse.  Read more »

Olmsted: The Scientific Farmer on Staten Island

(January 15, 2021) National Association for Olmsted Parks–Olmsted 200 Read more »

Get to Know Friends

Trees

Friends of Olmsted-Beil House is the nonprofit organization protecting, preserving, and presenting the Olmsted-Beil House historic site.

Video Collection

View our extensive collection of videos about the Olmsted-Beil House Historic Site.

About the Historic Site

The Olmsted-Beil House historic site is where landscaping genius Frederick Law Olmsted pioneered many of the techniques he later incorporated in Central Park and other acclaimed, transformational projects. The site is located in Eltingville on the south shore of Staten Island, at 4515 Hylan Blvd. The 1.7-acre site and two-story farmhouse are all that remain intact of the 130-acre farm dating back to the 17th century. Frederick Law Olmsted and naturalist and educator Carlton Beil and their families are among the many owners who made their homes and located their businesses there.

In 1967, the house was designated a New York City Landmark, and in 2006, the site became part of the NYC Parks system. For safety considerations, the house is closed to the public while it undergoes restoration.

Olmsted-Beil House