Just a Cozy Country Home

The National Trust acquires more of historic Rockefeller estate

East Preservation
Rockefeller Playhouse (Russ Beckley, Courtesy RBF)
Rockefeller Playhouse (Russ Beckley, Courtesy RBF)

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) has announced the expansion of The Pocantico Center in Pocantico Hills, New York, which will include the acquisition of the Rockefeller Playhouse, a “large Tudor-style building built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1927 as a venue for family recreation and events,” and family properties from the historic Rockefeller estate, according to a statement from the trust.

The Rockefeller Playhouse (Russ Beckley/Courtesy RBF)

Following the passing of David Rockefeller last year, the properties were gifted to the National Trust, and will join the Trust’s portfolio of 28 historic sites across the nation. Other properties at the Center, including the Marcel Breuer House, the Coach Barn, the Orangerie, and the encircling gardens and landscapes are managed the RBF but are not owned by the Trust.

The Pocantico Center is home to philanthropic and public programs. It attracts over 32,000 visitors each year with its public tours and art collections. Annual community programs include “a biannual lecture forum, a dinner series, garden symposia, and other talks on the Center’s art and sculpture collections, as well as an actively cultivated school garden.” The Center also welcomes artist residencies each year from a range of disciplines, including “dancers, musicians, playwrights, poets and visual artists.”

The additional buildings and land were already handed over to the trust and the RBF on July 15. The organizers expect to open the added buildings in September.

Vintage illustration of the Rockefeller Playhouse (Courtesy RBF)

“Saving, using, and sharing historic properties like the nearby Playhouse and Guest Houses help us to understand and appreciate the past, engage with the complex issues that define our present, and come together in a beautiful space to imagine and create a better future,” said Stephanie K. Meeks, president and CEO of the trust. “With a 70-year reputation for excellence in stewardship, the National Trust is honored to protect these historic places and committed to the long-term sustainability and success of both these properties and the entire Historic Hudson Valley. We are deeply indebted to the Rockefeller family for this remarkable gift, just the latest in their exceptional multi-generational commitment to preserving America’s past.”

AN recently reported that Meeks is stepping down at the end of 2018, after more than eight years in office. The organization’s board of trustees is actively searching for Meek’s successor.

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