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Jay House Celebrates $1.35M for Garden Restoration

Jay Heritage sent a report on their end of year fundraising for a major garden restoration:

With flutes of champagne a-filling, design icons speaking, and $1.35 million in garden restoration funds announcing , the Jay Heritage Center (JHC) welcomed over 160 guests on December 18 to make merry at their "Hearth & Earth Luncheon." Co-Chairs Elisabeth Casey, Suzanne Clary, Jean Doyen de Montaillou, Casey Forbes, Keelin Pye, Nan Pozios and Caroline Olmstead Wallach chose the program with care: Alexa Hampton, President of Mark Hampton LLC and Thomas L. Woltz, Principal owner of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects made sparkling presentations and each signed copies of their books, "Decorating in Detail" and "Garden Park Community Farm."

Thomas Woltz signs copies of his book

Thomas spoke first and explained his firm's reliance on both science and history for re-telling the natural and man-made stories of evolved landscapes; he and his team hope to apply techniques from their other projects like Olana and Monticello to the upcoming restoration of the Historic Jay Gardens in Rye.

In just one week, this community initiative to create public park space at John Jay's childhood home won a prestigious $500,000 REDC Award from NY State Parks and received $350,000 in additional donations. As a board member of The Cultural Landscape Foundation and the Municipal Art Society, Thomas brings a wealth of critical expertise to JHC's landmark undertaking.

The $1.5 Million:

  • $500,000 (matching) REDC Award from NY State Parks
  • $500,000 previously raised privately for the State match
  • $350,000 in additional donations including $150,000 from Michael A. Kovner and Jean Doyen de Montaillou and $200,000 for another family (anonymous)

Alexa who serves on the JHC Advisory Board spoke next. She mesmerized the crowd with her signature elan, wickedly smart humor and a gorgeous portfolio of before and after transformations that she has executed in the most challenging of dwellings, both American and international.

Alexa Hampton

As an active board member of the NY Landmarks Conservancy, the School of Interior Design and the Institute of Classical Art and Architecture, she is helping to bring students interested in pursuing careers in design and architecture to the Jay Estate which boasts a stunning 1838 Greek Revival mansion and 1907 Classical Revival Carriage House.

The day was also about toasting those who protect our resources. JHC Vice President, Michael A. Kovner, was lauded by friends and colleagues for his lifetime passion for preservation illustrated by his efforts to build awareness of the Jay property and his devotion to other conservation focused and American heritage institutions like the Nantucket Preservation Trust, The New England Society of New York and the English Speaking Union, Greenwich Chapter. He received JHC's 2014 Preservation Award and together with his husband Jean Doyen de Montaillou contributed a gift of $150,000 towards completing the gardens.

Everyone went home with visions of native plantings and classical ornaments dancing in their heads. Not to mention a few AJ Davis gingerbread cottages and iced sugar cookies!

See more from:

The Wry Home and The Neew York Social Diary.


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