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Lyndhurst's Changes Affect Operations; New Director of Business Advancement to be Hired

While the Scarecrow Autumn Festival will take place as scheduled Sunday and the Fairy Tale Weekend is on for Thanksgiving weekend, spring and fall craft shows are the only new public events planned for 2012 so far.

Germonique Ulmer, Senior Director of Public Affairs at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, told Patch on Tuesday, "Our senior leadership was at Lyndhurst for the entire week of September 26 and we will continue to be onsite and work with the staff in the coming months."

"It is our priority that the transitions at Lyndhurst happen smoothly," she said.

"We will be hiring a Director of Business Advancement who will begin early next year," she continued. "The first major project is working with Lyndhurst to lead the re-imagining process. When that process is completed, our vice president of Historic Sites will review the key leadership hires needed to manage the site."

Ulmer said, "Our Fairy Tale Weekend is absolutely happening and we look forward to a fantastic turnout. It begins the Friday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 25) and continues that weekend. Special holiday décor, music and light refreshments will continue on Dec 3-4, 9-10 and 17-18."  

"We are looking at the possibility of incorporating special dinners during the coming holiday season, but those plans are not finalized," Ulmer mentioned.

Concerning plans for 2012, Ulmer said, "The spring and fall craft shows will take place as scheduled but there are no other new public events planned for 2012 at this point."

She pointed out that the estate will continue to be available for private events such as weddings.

"We are getting ready for Scarecrow Autumn Festival on Sunday (Oct. 9)," Krystyn Silver, Acting Site Administrator at Lyndhurst, added, "We urge everyone to come." (See agenda below.)

Changing times, departed shows and the downturn in the economy have taken a toll on Lyndhurst's finances.

It has organized numerous fundraisers including a screening of “Jackie Behind the Myth,” a film about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, shown on May 3, 2007, at the Irvington Town Hall Theater. Campaigns for donations have included a successful $50,000 quest following a serious summer fire in 2008 that resulted in formidable expenses for repair, reconstruction and repayment that were beyond insurance coverage.

Lyndhurst lost a 30-year customer

However in 2010, Lyndhurst lost the business of the Westchester Kennel Club Dog Show because it scheduled its own Fall Crafts Show for the same weekend needed by the club for its annual dog show. (The Westchester Kennel Club couldn't switch to another weekend because dog show dates are assigned by the American Kennel Club.) Lyndhurst was the venue for the annual dog show for more than 30 years.

The 2010 Westchester Kennel Club Dog Show was relocated to Bridgewater, New Jersey where it drew 600 more Westchester dogs than had been entered the previous year at Lyndhurst for a total of more than 1700. The show was scheduled for Bridgewater in 2011 but had to be cancelled because of dangerous flooding in the area. The Westchester Kennel Club will keep the show in New Jersey in September, 2012.

Antique shows were held for several years at Lyndhurst, managed by the late Russell Carrell and by Cord Shows. These shows provided exhibit space for dealers offering period furniture, decorative art, china, glassware, vintage clothing, woven goods and valuable collectibles. Other shows lost by Lyndhurst include an antique car show which moved to New York City and a show sponsored and eventually retired by Planned Parenthood.

Donations have funded the restoration of marble walls, the lily fountain in the greenhouse and house furnishings and the maintenance of the estate's copper beech trees, lanterns and facilities. Contribution checks can be made out to Lyndhurst and mailed to Lyndhurst, 635 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591. Memberships to support Lyndhurst are also available ranging from $40 (lowest level) to $5,000 (highest level). 

Scarecrow Autumn Festival on Sunday, Oct. 9

Activities at this event include:

  • Atka, a wolf from the Wolf Conservation Center
  •  Music and square dancing, led by Old Time Music and Dance
  • The Nature of Things, small furry critters and reptiles
  • Pied Piper pony rides
  • Old fashioned country games, fortune telling, face painting
  • Produce available for purchase from local farms
  • Tarrytown police department's DARE Program
  • Bounce Castle

The program runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The admission cost is $15 for adults and $5 for kids, 4 to 12.

Lyndhurst is one of the sites owned and/or operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. 

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