Hamilton Grange National Memorial Restoration Update – December 2009

The Grange received $2.4 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will enable the National Park Service to complete the interior restoration of the home. Work on the interior has begun and we expect to reopen the memorial to visitors in the fall of 2010.

The front entrance of the house has regained much of its original appearance. The porch is in place and the front steps are awaiting additional work. The front door frame has been returned to its exact original position in the home’s façade – a feat the National Park Service’s historic architect said he was extremely pleased with considering the structural changes that were made to the house and the door frame itself following its first move in 1889. Stylistically, it is interesting to note that the square pillars supporting the floor of the front porch exactly match the dimensions and placement of the columns supporting the porch roof so that they appear to be continuous vertical lines.

Stephen Spaulding, a historic architect with the National Park Service, meets with a contractor on December 2 to discuss how to best replicate the
faux finish Hamilton ordered for the lower level of the Grange.


The New York Horticultural Society plants trees before the winter sets in.

The rear porch has been installed and the risers for the rear steps have been completed. The only netting that remains on the house is in the rear.

Photos from December Coffee Bark

Our last Coffee Bark of the year took place on Dec 5th and lots of dogs and people were in the holiday spirit, enjoying coffee and donuts during a chilly morning at the St. Nick’s Dog Run. Out next Coffee Bark will be in the spring. In the meantime, please help us keep the dog run clean by picking up litter and trash and disposing of your dog’s waste in the trash cans around the dog run perimeter.

Thanks again to everyone who helped with the Coffee Barks in 2010 including…

Sybil Ward
Yasmin Lauz
Mike Tosi and Diva Goodfriend
Julia Granacki
Vaneik Echeverria
Josh Greenberg
Jehanne Catalano
Phil Spletzer
T&J’s Bakery
Diane West and New York Tails Magazine
Uptown Vets

Photos from Holiday Tree Lighting!

Over 50 people attended the Friends of St. Nicholas Park Tree Lighting this past weekend. Entertainment was provided by students from Harlem School for the Arts and PS/MS 129. We also had a great choir from Harlem House that keep us singing until the tree was lit! After it was lit, Law and Order SVU’s own Tamara Tunie took to the stage and delighted the crowd with her recitation of “A Visit From St. Nicholas.”

Thanks to everyone from the Friends and the community who helped make this event possible including:

Sybil Ward
Tamara Tunie
Jehanne and Jim Catalano
Josh Greenberg
Risa Rottenberg
T&J’s Bakery
Chris Zimmerman and Family
Mark Vaccaro, Parks Manager
Carola Polakov, Photographer
Krista Wozniak and the PS/MS 129 Choir
Byron McCray and the Harlem School of the Arts
Fred Jordon and the Blessed Trinity Baptist Church

All photos by Carola Polakov

Students from PS/MS 129 Sing some holiday favorites
Flutist from Harlem School of the Arts delights the crowd with a classical performance
Family from Harlem house sing perfect harmonies with Santa before the tree is lit
Tamara Tunie of Law and Order SVU with her annual performance of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”
The new St. Nicholas Park Holiday Tree which was planted earlier and is donated by City College.

Holiday Tree Lighting Festival This Sunday, December 6th

The Friends will be having their annual Holiday Tree Lighting, Sunday, Dec. 6th starting at 3opm with ornament making for kids and tree lighting at 6pm! The Festival and Tree Lighting will take place at the 135th Street Plaza in St. Nicholas Park where the community will light a new permanent holiday tree donated by City College earlier this year.

This year’s lighting includes a visit from St. Nick (Santa Claus).  Tamara Tunie – star of TV’s Law and Order SVU will recite ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (also known as “A Visit from St. Nicholas“).

Also performing will be singers from the PS/MS 129 Choir and The Harlem School of The Arts!

Also, the Blessed Trinity Baptist Church Men’s Ministry will be collecting coats, gloves and hats for their Holiday Drive. Please bring gently used items to help keep people warm this winter!

Sunday, December 6th marks St. Nicholas Day. This day marks a popular day in Germany where children had left a boot or stockings out for St. Nick to fill with goodies. The day is still practiced among German neighborhoods in the US.

Free Hot Chocolate and cookies from T and J’s Bakery will be served at the event.

Help us promote the event by downloading our our poster and printing & hanging in community centers, churches, schools, etc. Thanks!