First Niagara, a multi-state, community-oriented bank with nearly 430 branches in the Northeast, is also one of Historic Hudson Valley’s newest neighbors and partners. In May of 2012, this Buffalo-based company completed its acquisition of more than 100 HSBC Bank branches throughout Upstate New York and Connecticut, serving 500,000 new households.
Having recently expanded to the Hudson Valley, First Niagara is committed to strengthening youth education, revitalizing neighborhoods, and improving the quality of life in our community with funding from the First Niagara Foundation. The Foundation’s support of Historic Hudson Valley’s curriculum-based school programs for children demonstrates this commitment. Held in authentic settings like the working 18th-century gristmill at Philipsburg Manor and the historic Ferry House at Van Cortlandt Manor, these hands-on workshops provide students with a level of understanding that simply cannot be conveyed through the pages of history books.
As the steward of six National Historic Landmark sites and the largest cultural organization in Westchester County, Historic Hudson Valley is proud to partner with the First Niagara Foundation in our efforts to preserve, interpret, and celebrate our region’s heritage.
Visitors looking for elegant accommodations, fine dining, and spectacular views worthy of Europe’s storybook royal residences will find them right here in Sleepy Hollow Country, at Castle on the Hudson in Tarrytown. Built between 1897 and 1910, this Norman-style castle features all the visual treats of a regal medieval estate—and none of its detractions.
Castle on the Hudson was the creation of General Howard Carroll, businessman, newspaperman, and playwright. It offers unobstructed views of the Hudson River Valley and New York City; its 75-foot-tall tower is the highest point in Westchester County. Carroll and his family enjoyed the hilltop mansion as their primary residence into the 1940s. After a brief period as a private school, the property was converted to business use, first serving as the home of an investment advisory firm and then becoming a luxury resort.
The richly landscaped, 11-acre property features rare varieties of trees and plants. Inside, behind the Castle’s magnificent stone exterior with its towers and turrets, are an award-winning dining room, ballroom, state-of-the-art fitness and meeting facilities, and 31 rooms appointed with every modern convenience.
Over the years, the Castle has generously hosted several events for Historic Hudson Valley’s donors. The resort offers special heritage tour packages featuring visits to area historic sites, including Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate.
Now under new ownership, Castle on the Hudson is currently undergoing renovations and the construction of a new, on-site spa. It is scheduled to reopen on May 1, 2013.
It’s no secret that Con Edison delivers the electricity that powers much of the New York metropolitan area. But that’s not all the company does. Con Edison has a long tradition of corporate citizenship and contributes thousands of volunteer hours and millions of dollars annually to nonprofit organizations throughout New York City and Westchester County.
Since 1992, Con Edison has been a contributor to Historic Hudson Valley. Over the past several years, the company’s generous grants have helped support Pinkster, a traditional African-Dutch spring festival that features music, dance, food, and storytelling. In addition to festivities for general audiences, Pinkster includes a three-day school program that brings hundreds of students to Philipsburg Manor.
“Pinkster is such an important program for teaching the history of diversity in this area,” says Hilary S. Ayala, Director of Con Edison’s Grassroots Management and Strategic Partnerships Programs.
Con Edison is also committed to helping Historic Hudson Valley restore the iconic footbridge and wharf at Philipsburg Manor. These structures, which have deteriorated due to decades of wear and tear, are vital to teaching visitors about early river-based commerce and slavery in the colonial North.
Through its Power of Giving program, Con Edison goes beyond cash grants to give Historic Hudson Valley and other nonprofits an opportunity to share ideas with an online community and attend professional seminars. Plans are also underway to assess the energy efficiency of Historic Hudson Valley’s properties and lay the groundwork for greater sustainability at the sites.
Providing energy to light the historic sites, and the philanthropy to help interpret them for the public, has made Con Edison a highly valued Corporate Partner. In recognition of this partnership, Historic Hudson Valley honored Kevin Burke, Con Edison’s Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, with the 2009 Hudson Valley Hero Award.
With a multi-generational history of service and a commitment to environmentally-conscious product solutions, Crown Products represents how Historic Hudson Valley partners with the small business community.
Founded in 1919 as a pushcart operation called “B. Klein,” and then Crown Paper in the 1940s, this Yonkers-based company offers supply, design, and support services for a full line of custom protective packaging and janitorial supplies.
Crown is at the forefront of Westchester County’s green movement. The company continuously searches for acceptable environmental solutions to the packaging and janitorial issues facing the world today. Once available, new alternatives are implemented to conform to Crown’s guiding philosophy of “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.”
Keenly interested and informed about environmental issues, Peter Mollo, company president, has lent his expertise to Historic Hudson Valley’s “Green Team.” His consultation has helped staff transition to using Green Seal Certified cleaning products at our properties, part of an organization-wide effort to adopt more sustainable, energy-efficient practices.
Peter and his family are frequent visitors to Historic Hudson Valley’s sites and have a particular fondness for Sunnyside. “Historic Hudson Valley has been an important part of my family for many years,” he says. “The collaboration on green initiatives is a terrific opportunity for Crown to share what it has learned from the field with a vital institution in our community.”
Entergy and Indian Point Energy Center have a long tradition of corporate giving, with the goal of contributing to the health, education, environmental safety, and productivity of local communities. Indian Point alone makes annual donations of roughly $1.5 million to area charities, while also supplying more than 25% of the electricity for New York City and lower Westchester County.
Entergy’s partnership with Historic Hudson Valley began in 2004, when the company provided a grant of $2,000 to restore the waterwheel of the working gristmill at Philipsburg Manor. An original “trailblazer,” Entergy became the founding sponsor of The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze when it first opened to the public in 2005. In the years since, the Blaze has become the largest ticketed Halloween event in the tri-state region. With Entergy as the lead sponsor, the Blaze has attracted scores of visitors to Van Cortlandt Manor, from 18,297 in 2005 to more than 80,000 in recent years.
In addition to supporting the Blaze, Entergy contributes funds and volunteer hours to numerous nonprofit organizations, schools, universities, and food banks in New York State. Historic Hudson Valley is proud to carry this partnership forward.
As the owners of Peter Pratt’s Inn in Yorktown Heights and Ümami Café in Croton-on-Hudson, Craig Purdy and executive chef Jonathan Pratt can clearly “stand the heat,” both in and out of the kitchen. It’s fitting, then, that they would partner with Historic Hudson Valley during The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, arguably the hottest Halloween ticket in the tri-state area.
Long before they teamed up, Jonathan and Craig shared an early connection to Peter Pratt’s Inn, an 18th-century home steeped in history. Located in the oldest section of Yorktown, the Inn occupies the battle site where the British Tories defeated George Washington’s Northern Continental Command Post in 1781. Nearly 150 years later, it became known as the Croton Heights Inn, catering to local residents and luminaries including the Vanderbilts, the Gettys, and Duncan Hines.
Peter and Janet Pratt bought the property in 1965 and later enlisted their son Jonathan as head chef of Peter Pratt’s Inn. It was here that Craig Purdy got his first restaurant job more than 31 years ago, as a dishwasher. Amid the suds and hot water, his culinary interests began to percolate, and in 2002, Craig returned to Peter Pratt’s as co-proprietor. The fusion of Jonathan’s and Craig’s culinary tastes sparked the creation of Ümami Café, which has become a local favorite during The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze. Plans are also underway to open a New French Brasserie in Croton, by the name of Tagine.
Historic Hudson Valley is thrilled to count this restaurant group as a new Corporate Partner. The hospitality they extend to our friends, supporters, and the local community helps to make the Blaze burn even brighter.
“We’re committed to maintaining the health of Historic Hudson Valley’s wonderful trees so that generations to come can enjoy their majesty,” according to arborist Tom Marino of SavATree. Working closely with Historic Hudson Valley’s horticulture staff, SavATree cares for trees at four of our historic properties.
As a leading provider of lawn care programs and tree services in the Eastern U.S., SavATree is committed to promoting passion for nature and giving back to the communities it serves. Each year, SavATree volunteers participate in community service projects, neighborhood activities, special events, unique tree care projects, educational forums, and historic preservation endeavors.
An active and generous Corporate Partner, SavATree has also contributed to Historic Hudson Valley’s special events by presenting activities that entertain and educate. Under the guidance of SavATree staff, young visitors to our educational programs and festivals at Philipsburg Manor and Van Cortlandt Manor have potted saplings, tried their hands at tree rappelling, and participated in cross-cut sawing competitions.
Historic Hudson Valley is grateful for SavATree’s long-standing partnership, both in preserving our historic landscapes and teaching the public about their history and care.
Tarrytown House Estate & Conference Center, just up the hill from Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, was originally two Hudson River estates owned by prominent 19th-century families. In 1964, Robert Schwartz, former New York Bureau Chief for LIFE magazine, converted the two properties to the country’s first commercial conference center.
Now owned by Destination Hotels & Resorts, Tarrytown House remains the steward of the two estates’ historic mansions, their numerous outbuildings, and 26 acres of hilltop landscape. The property recently underwent an $11 million renovation that honors and preserves the sites’ many historic features while unobtrusively adding the modern amenities of a full-service hotel.
With the care of historic structures so much a part of its own story, Tarrytown House has become a natural partner with Historic Hudson Valley. It offers special lodging packages for visitors who make reservations to tour Kykuit or who purchase tickets to The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze and Horseman’s Hollow. Hundreds of Tarrytown House guests have taken advantage of these packages, amply demonstrating that collaborations that support heritage tourism also help to drive the local economy.
“Our guests love visiting Historic Hudson Valley’s sites,” says Steve Sackman, Regional Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Destination Hotels & Resorts. “Whether they’re taking in the gardens at Kykuit or coming here for fall foliage and the Blaze, the sites are an unbeatable addition to any weekend getaway.”