Thursday, December 27, 2007

Preparations for Hamilton Grange Move Begin

A chain link fence (photos below) has been installed around the construction perimeter of the park where the Hamilton Grange will be moved into St. Nicholas Park. Preparations of the area include taking down the large trees where the house will eventually be reconstructed. Ground breaking on the area for the foundation may take place on Alexander Hamilton's Birthday - January 11th.

The National Parks Service presented their plans to the Friends and Manhattan Borough Parks Commissioner William Castro during a meeting in November and then once again during a public meeting in Shepard Hall at City College.

For the move, the Grange will be cut in half and transported from its current spot on Convent Avenue (between 141st and 142nd streets) to the area of St. Nicholas Park within the boundaries of Hamilton's original estate land. The move will take place along Hamilton Terrace and across 141st street into St. Nicholas Park.

The house move is expected to take place in the spring of 2008. Street closures are expected along Convent, Hamilton Terrance and West 141st Street for 1-2 days. The house will be transported by backing it out of its current location down to Hamilton Terrace (where a few trees might need to be removed) and across the street into St. Nicholas Park.

Once the house is moved and secured, a renovation will take place where contractors will rebuild the original porches which had to be removed in order to fit the house in its current space (between St. Luke's Church and an Apartment Building).

Landscaping around the Grange's new home will include tree plantings, a stone wall and paths. The Grange will have security detail during the day and possible video monitoring during the evening hours.

Above is a rendering of the placement of the Grange in the park. (Click to make the image larger) On the right side is the Grove School of Engineering at CCNY.

The house is expected to open to the public in the Spring of 2009.

The Friends are hard at work trying to obtain some renderings to place on this site. Please check back for updates in the next few months. For up to date photos of the Grange's move please check our Hamilton Grange Flickr photo set.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy Holidays from the Friends

Dear Friends,

The Friends of St. Nicholas Park wishes you and your family a safe and wonderful holiday season. We want to thank you for helping to make our beautiful park one of the city's best in 2007.

In 2008, we are planning to have a lot more events in the park including a concert series, an art fair, our yearly film festival, our fall festival, our holiday tree lighting event, and our monthly
Coffee Bark at the St. Nick's Dog Run.

Of course we can't do it without your help.

This holiday season, for a donation of $10 or more, the Friends of St. Nicholas Park will be writing a personalized message from you or your family on an ornament and hang it on our tree. Your donation helps us produce these fun-filled events as well as keep St. Nicholas Park safe and beautiful. A donation of $250 or more is deductible on your 2007 taxes!

Click below to download the PDF. Fill it in with all the information and send to the Friends of St. Nicholas Park and we'll get your ornament up on the tree.

The tree will be up until after the New Year, so New Year's wishes are welcomed as well.

Happy Holidays and we'll see you in the park!

The Friends of St. Nicholas Park

Friday, December 07, 2007

Tree lighting brings out Harlem's Brightest!

Last night, the Friends of St. Nicholas Park hosted their Annual Tree Lighting at the park's 135th Street Plaza.

William Mullin of the Friends MC'd the evening, and introduced the crowd to the Friends' tree ornament fundraiser. For as little as $10, an ornament with your personalized message will be hung on the park's impressive tree. Click below to fill out the form to have your message or family name displayed in vivid color on St. Nick's Tree.

The Dorothy Maynor singers from the Harlem School of the Arts and the St. Mark's Church Choir started off the entertainment and delighted the crowd with their carol singing. Then, after the countdown, Councilwoman Inez Dickens helped flip the switch to ignite the 15-foot-tall spruce tree. She had help from Linda Guy, who works in Senator Bill Perkins' office, and TV Star Tamara Tunie.

The brilliantly lit tree provided the perfect backdrop for Tamara Tunie to deliver her highly entertaining and theatrical rendition of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Her voice and charm literally stopped traffic on St. Nicholas Avenue, where the street became as quiet as a Norman Rockwell painting. Then, with help from others, she launched us all into jovial caroling for the big finale of the night.

Despite the chill in the evening air, the gathering of about 40 neighborhood residents were also kept warm with constant flow of hot apple cider and hot chocolate provided by the Friends. The beverages were prepared with the help of St. Mark's Church and some of "Harv's Kids" made sure the hot stuff reached it's destination in the park, in their usual generous style. Without their help these events could not happen.

Click below to view all the photos from last night.

A special thanks to the following people who made this event possible.

Sarah Fort and Partnership for Parks
Park Manager Sal Trento
St. Mark's Church Board Member Ronald Guy
Risa Rottenberg
Laura Iorio
Julia Granaki
Jehanne Catalano
Philip Spletzer

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Friends Annual Tree Lighting this Thursday 5:30-7pm

This Thursday Dec. 6th from 5:30-7pm the Friends will be hosting our Annual Holiday Tree Lighting at the 135th Street Plaza in St. Nicholas Park. This year, Tamara Tunie - star of TV's Law and Order SVU will recite 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (also known as "A Visit from St. Nicholas"). Also performing will be a choir from the Harlem School for the Arts and a Chorus from St. Mark's United Methodist Church.

Thursday, December 6th marks St. Nicholas Day. This day marks a popular day in Germany where children had left a boot or stockings out for St. Nick to fill with goodies. The day is still practiced among German neighborhoods in the US.

Hot Chocolate and Apple Cider will be served at the event.

This year the Friends are also giving everyone who donates $10 or more to the group an opportunity to have a personalized message written on an ornament and hung on their tree. For more information click here.

Friends Announce Personalized Ornaments for 2007 Holiday Tree!

For the 2007 Holidays, the Friends of St. Nicholas will create a personalized tree ornaments to hang on their tree in the 135th Street Plaza for a donation as little as $10 to their group.

To participate, click below to download the PDF. Fill it in with all the information and send to the Friends of St. Nicholas Park and we'll get your ornament up on our tree.

The tree will be up until just after the New Year, so New Year's wishes are welcomed as well.


This form requires Adobe Acrobat Reader - a free program. Click to download it.

If you have any questions please contact us at

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Coffee Bark Enjoyed by All

[UPDATED] Click above to view video selects of the Dog Run Ribbon Cutting with New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

Yesterday, the Commissioner of Parks, Adrian Benepe commemorated the 1 year anniversary our of St. Nick's Dog Run by acknowledging the hard work of the Friends of St. Nicholas Park in a ribbon cutting during the St. Nick's Dog Run Coffee Bark.

Joining Commissioner Benepe where Manhattan Park Commissioner William Castro, Martin Smith, Director of Constituent Services for Councilman Robert Jackson and Patricia Jones, the 2nd Vice Chair of Community Board 9.

Over 50 Friends of St. Nicholas Dog Owners took part in the ceremony as well as student from the Kipp Star School who were volunteering yesterday to help plant with our gardener Scott Farrington.

The Friends would like to thank the ongoing support and hard work of everyone who makes our Monthly Coffee Bark so special including:

Julia Granaki
Vaneik Escheverra
Josh Greenberg
Diva Goodfriend-Koven
Michael Tosi
Jehanne Piper
Corey and his son Darius
Sophie and Jason (and Ginger!)

Photos of the event can be found by clicking the link below

Our monthly Coffee Bark will start back up in the first Saturday of April. Saturday April 5th from 9-11am.

Thanks again to everyone and we'll see you in the Dog Run!

William Mullin
Friends of St. Nicholas Park