FOBH Vice President William E. Bell Named to Olmsted Network's Board of Directors
We’re proud to announce that Friends of Olmsted-Beil House Vice President and Membership Secretary William E. Bell has been named to the Board of Directors of the Olmsted Network. The Network (formerly the National Association for Olmsted Parks) is the national organization dedicated to championing Olmsted parks, places, and principles through advocacy, education, and stewardship. The Board of Directors of the Olmsted Network comprises nationally recognized leaders, thinkers, practitioners, and philanthropists dedicated to exploring and celebrating Frederick Law Olmsted and his legacy.
Bill has been a practicing lawyer for more than 40 years, specializing in maritime law and civil litigation. He is currently Of Counsel to The Cook Group, a multi-state law firm based in New York. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Denison University; a master’s degree from Union Theological Seminary; and a juris doctor from Fordham University School of Law.
We are grateful to Bill for his steadfast support of Friends of Olmsted-Beil House, both on-site on Staten Island and from his home near Central Park, where he enjoys Frederick Law Olmsted’s gem, designed with architect Calvert Vaux.
Street Near Olmsted's Staten Island Farm Co-Named in His Honor
The Friends of Olmsted-Beil House was delighted to join with New York City Council Minority Leader Joseph C. Borelli on August 26, 2022, to celebrate the co-naming of Woods of Arden Road as “Frederick Law Olmsted Way.” Woods of Arden Road is the road nearest to Olmsted-Beil House Park, the site of Olmsted’s former farm and house. When Olmsted owned the property, it was the main road through his farm, extending over a mile from the current Amboy Road past Hylan Blvd. and down to the edge of Raritan Bay. Learn more below.
Video of Co-Naming Ceremony
Friends of Olmsted-Beil House Hosts Visit by Preeminent Olmsted Scholars
On Sunday, October 3, 2021, the 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 »
National Park Service Adds Frederick Law Olmsted’s Staten Island House to National Register of Historic Places
Olmsted-Beil House Listed on New York State Register of Historic Places
On September 23, 2020, Daniel Mackay, Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation, of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, officially approved the application for the Olmsted-Beil House to be listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places. The application had been initiated and prepared by the New York Landmarks Conservancy and was further edited by the New York State Office of Historic Preservation. The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, which owns the house, supported the application, as did the Friends of Olmsted-Beil House and the National Association of Olmsted Parks.
We are hopeful that this designation will generate more support for the full restoration of the house and lead to its approval for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
FOBH Receives Capacity Fund Grant from Partnerships for Parks
We are very honored to receive a 2020 Capacity Fund Grant from Partnerships for Parks to support our programming and outreach. Partnerships for Parks is the public-private program that supports and champions a growing network of leaders caring and advocating for neighborhood parks and green spaces. Funding for this grant is made possible by presenting sponsor TD Bank. We appreciate Partnerships for Parks’ and TD Bank’s confidence in our work to protect, preserve, and present Olmsted-Beil House Park.
FOBH Awarded a Grant from the NYC Green Relief & Recovery Fund
FOBH has been awarded a generous grant from the NYC Green Relief & Recovery Fund. The Fund is administered by City Parks Foundation and was developed by a coalition of foundations. The funds will be used to support Friends’ essential maintenance, stewardship, public programming, and management.
Stabilization Work Done at Olmsted-Beil House
A big thank you to the New York Landmarks Conservancy for their fundraising efforts on behalf of the Olmsted-Beil House. In 2019, they led efforts to raise funds for emergency stabilization work at the house. As the Conservancy reported, the “work to date has covered the area around the stone foundation to prevent further water penetration, repointed part of the foundation, and laid a waterproof membrane in the basement” (https://nylandmarks.org/news/progress-at-the-landmark-olmsted-house/).
This stabilization work is required before restoration of the house can be initiated.
A plan is in the works for the upper windows of the house to be restored.
Partnerships for Parks Bright Future Award
Friends of Olmsted Beil House board members Felicity Beil, Paula Tramontano, Jenny Swadosh and William Bell accepting the “Bright Future” Award on February 26, 2020 at the Prince George Ballroom in Manhattan for the 25th Anniversary Partnerships for Parks Awards reception. The awards program recognizes New York City park volunteers who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to their local parks through service, advocacy, and collaboration.