Kickstarter Drive Launched to Save Olmsted’s Former Home


Kickstarter Drive Launched to Save Olmsted’s Former Home

Kickstarter Drive Launched to Save Olmsted’s Former Home
Nov 02, 2018

On October 22, 2018, the New York Landmarks Conservancy (NYLC) launched a $16,000 Kickstarter drive to fund urgently needed repairs to Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr.’s, former home on Staten Island in New York City. The effort is part of the NYLC’s wider fundraising efforts—with an overall goal of $150,000—to fully stabilize the landmark building.

Donations via Kickstarter can be made HERE.

The Staten Island farmhouse, known as Tosomock Farm when Olmsted owned it from 1847 to 1866, is where the future ‘father of American landscape architecture’ honed many of his skills, cultivating fruit trees (some of which remain on the property today), conducting agricultural experiments, draining marshes, siting buildings, and shaping the landscape. It was also while living there that he and Calvert Vaux completed their competition-plan to design Central Park.

The Staten Island property was eventually subdivided and developed, with the farmhouse structure passing into private ownership. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation acquired the two-story house and the remaining 1.7-acre grounds in 2006, planning to open the site to the public. Now formally called the Olmsted-Beil House Park, the property is recognized as a New York City Landmark but is much overgrown, the farmhouse having been vacant since 2006 and now in a severe state of disrepair and neglect.  

TCLF added the site to its Landslide program in August 2017, after the NYLC obtained permission to pay for an updated conditions survey of the house. Much work is needed to improve the building and site, and the recent Kickstarter campaign is another step toward the successful stewardship of this national treasure.

Undated photo of Olmsted's Tosomock Farm, Staten Island, NY - Photo published by the New York Times