That’s What I Like About Roslyn

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(Ed. note: As part of our 140th anniversary celebration of The Roslyn News, the editors asked prominent citizens of Roslyn to explain, as succinctly as possible, what has made our area so special over the years.)

Come Together

John Durkin

When I think back on the past 17 years that I have been mayor, I see a community that has had to overcome much and that has grown closer together. My first year in office was 2001 and we lost loved ones and friends on 9/11 but we pulled together as a community. After that we were confronted with Sandy, the worst hurricane to hit the East Coast in 100 years. It seems from that point on there was a commitment by residents to take care of Roslyn and to take care of each other. Over the ensuing years we have had clothing drives, fundraisers for historic preservation and community events like free outdoor movie nights. We have repaired infrastructure, created green-space. These all show a community looking to move forward and grow responsibly. There are new families moving in all the time and older families deciding to stay because they love the area. There is a great blend of people here, and plenty of things to do. Seems to me that with its mix of homes, co-ops and apartments, new restaurants and stores, Roslyn is becoming one of the brightest spots of Nassau.

—John Durkin, mayor,
Village of Roslyn

What Makes East Hills Great

Michael R. Koblenz

It’s the friendships between neighbors and the enviable sense of community we share.

It’s the dedication of so many who are willing to serve on our boards, commissions, committees and lead.

It’s a close-knit board of talented trustees who work together to avoid deadlock and to gain reform.

It’s a policy to embrace new and creative ideas with a common goal of being on the cutting-edge.

It’s our award-winning park that offers some of the most modern facilities on Long Island.

It’s the exciting programs, entertainment, one-of-a-kind fireworks display and concerts, with children playing Frisbee and dancing on our fields.

It’s our beautiful neighborhoods and our tree-lined streets.

It’s the quality of our services that range from exceptional snow removal, to our own security, sanitation and public works operations.

It’s parents with strollers walking in the park and the confidence that their children will someday attend the best schools in large part because of several of our fine residents who serve on the Roslyn School Board.

It’s our policy to contain taxes, our sound financial policies, high bond ratings and our commitment to find solutions to problems before they occur.

It’s the proximity to exceptional stores and the convenience of being so close to New York City for business, entertaining, dining and even Broadway shows. It’s our caring during catastrophes, our frequent updates, access, messages and immediate service to respond whenever there is a need.

To all who have supported us in our journey to make the lifestyle of the residents in East Hills the very best, thank you for helping us build our dream, and now live our dream.

—Michael R. Koblenz, mayor, Village of East Hills

Lucky And Proud

Louis Badolato

The historic Village of Roslyn Harbor, nestled in the hills overlooking the western shore of Hempstead Harbor, is a wonderful place to raise a family. Culturally, the village offers the Nassau County Art Museum, which attracts exhibitions from some of the finest artists, and Cedarmere, the picturesque estate of great American poet, newspaper magnate and abolitionist leader William Cullen Bryant. The charming village contains an eclectic mixture of homes of every style and era, from Willowmere, a true Colonial mansion constructed in 1760, through wonderful modern homes, constructed this year. Tall old-growth trees shade the quiet streets, while the large lots and many forested spaces provide both safe places for family recreation and homes for wildlife, from endangered osprey and blue herons to red foxes, bunnies and yes, even the occasional deer. As part of the Roslyn and North Shore school districts, some of the finest in the United States, Roslyn Harbor’s children are provided with an excellent education. For me, the best part of being a resident of Roslyn Harbor are the warm, friendly and successful residents I am both lucky and proud to call my neighbors and friends.

—Louis Badolato, mayor,
Village of Roslyn Harbor

Best Of Both Worlds

Paul Leone Peters

My wife, Clare, and I love Roslyn Estates because of its beauty, charm and peaceful surroundings and because it is small without being crowded. We love the rolling topography and mature trees; the two ponds and the winding roads; and the proximity to great restaurants and shopping, and to the excellent Roslyn schools. We find it more country than suburban, even though it is perfectly located to access everything from New York City to the East End. We appreciate the varied architecture and wooded settings, and we are grateful for the active and involved boards and civic association.

For the privilege of serving as mayor, I see the results of our trustees’ efforts to keep Roslyn Estates just as I have described it despite changing times and demographics. We try to maintain its character and charm while keeping it running efficiently and without increasing the tax burden; to balance the preferences of the majority of residents while recognizing the interests of individuals. Both are challenging juggling acts. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with the dedicated and caring staff that is always looking out for the best interests of our village and residents. They make my job easy.

—Paul Leone Peters, mayor,
Village of Roslyn Estates

An Extraordinary Gift

Dr. Allison Brown

In 1864, the very first Board of Education convened here in Roslyn. A community that recognized the value of providing an education to its children apparently also wished to be better informed about the local issues of the day. The two endeavors are deeply connected: the thirst for knowledge that arises in an educated community was satisfied, in part, by newspapers, which could only find an audience in a literate population. Forty years later, Roslyn petitioned the State of New York to enable the community to extend schooling through high school for the first time. A tuition-free K-12 education is something we take for granted today, but imagine what an extraordinary gift it must have seemed a century ago to earn a high school diploma right here in one’s home community. Since then, many thousands of Roslyn children have graduated and gone on to make their mark in the world, something that would not have been possible without the vision of our forebears. It is a testament to the public schools’ central place in our lives that we would no longer recognize our community without them.

—Dr. Allison Brown, Superintendent of Schools,
Roslyn School District

A Work That Never Ends

A view of Roger and Peggy Gerry Park

Take a walk around the Roslyn Duck Pond, now called Gerry Park, along East Broadway to Main Street and around to Old Northern Boulevard and you will see Roslyn much as it was over 100 years ago. This is due largely to the excellent stewardship of the Village of Roslyn and the preservation mission of the Roslyn Landmark Society which was founded in 1961 by Dr. Roger Gerry and his wife Peggy Newbauer.

Dr. and Mrs. Gerry first moved to Roslyn in 1951, left for a tour of duty in the Navy Dental Corps and returned to Roslyn in 1958, where they took up permanent residence on Main Street. They took note of some of the changes to the “bucolic” character of Roslyn; preservation and historic significance became their priority and that of the Roslyn Landmark Society.

The society has restored and preserved over 50 historically significant structures and sites in the historic districts and holds preservation covenants on 37 historic homes. In addition, the society has been instrumental in the restoration of the Mill at Cedarmere and the Jerusha Dewey House exterior on the grounds of the Nassau County Museum. Due to the perseverance and restoration commitment of the society, the restored marble horse from the Mackay Estate, Harbor Hill, now stands in Gerry Park. The Landmark Society has oversight of the Van-Nostrand Starkins Historic House museum on Main Street, which is one of the oldest Dutch-style homes left on Long Island. Currently, planning and fundraising are underway for the restoration of the 1701 Robeson-Williams Grist Mill, which stands in the middle of Roslyn Village and is believed to be the oldest surviving Dutch-style grist mill to still be standing.

—Anne B. Tinder and Jennifer Lister,
The Roslyn Landmark Society

A Fruitful Partnership

Victor Caputo

The Bryant Library congratulates The Roslyn News for 140 years of covering community events. The library appreciates all the paper has done in helping to get information about our programs and services to our patrons. We look forward to many more years working with the paper.

The Bryant Library is the special place it is because of the community it serves. It is an absolute honor to work in a community that values education and library service. The Bryant Library offers something for every resident. Whether it be materials and programs for kids, to concerts, book discussions and materials for adults, we want to make your Bryant Library experience the best it can be.

Again, I want to thank the Roslyn community for making Bryant not only the place it is, but with their support, the place it will become. We strive to continually meet the growing and changing needs of the community we serve. As technology changes the way we access information, the library will meet those changes head on to make sure we have what the community needs.

—Victor Caputo, director, The Bryant Library

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