FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 12, 2018
MEDIA CONTACTS: Carole Trottere, Rebecca Cheng, Vicki DiStefano and Matt Leonenko | (516) 869-7794
New Plaza and Historical Marker Unveiled at Mackay Horse in Roslyn
$71,000 grant from Nassau County used to complete the project
North Hempstead, NY – North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Council Member Anna Kaplan along with Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton and members of the Roslyn Historical Society were proud to unveil the latest renovations to the Mackay Horse Statue at Gerry Pond Park in Roslyn on Tuesday, October 10. The project was completed with help from a $71,000 Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grant from Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton.
The renovations included historical markers that provide information about the statue and its origins, a plaza surrounding the statue’s foundation, as well as a protective fence, shrubs and permanent lighting throughout the year.
Back in October 2013, the Town, in partnership with the Roslyn Landmark Society, marked the historic return of the Mackay Horse Statue to the village of Roslyn where it first appeared 93 years ago at the Harbor Hill mansion, the Gold Coast-era estate of Clarence and Katherine Duer Mackay. The “horse tamer” statue is one of the two that once stood on the 648-acre Harbor Hill mansion, with the other now displayed at Roslyn High School.
“We are so fortunate that we live in a Town so rich with history and it’s our duty to preserve and cherish that history,” said Supervisor Bosworth. “I extend a big thank you to Town Historian Howard Kroplick who played a central role in the restoration process and Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton for providing us the funding and opportunity to ensure that the Mackay Horse is preserved and a permanent fixture in Roslyn for generations to come.”
“I am grateful for the hard work of everyone involved in this effort to preserve such a beautiful and historic community landmark,” Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton said. “I love seeing the statues as I drive in Roslyn and am pleased to know future generations will have the same experience. I’d like to thank Supervisor Bosworth, her colleagues on the North Hempstead Town Board and Town Historian Howard Kroplick for their leadership in this initiative.”
Council Member Kaplan, who represents the area where the Mackay Horse stands, said, “I am pleased that we were able to complete the final steps in the restoration of the Mackay Horse and preserve the history that the statue represents. Thank you to everyone for their hard work to make this project a reality.”
“It is very exciting to complete this Roslyn Landmark Society project which began almost nine years ago,” Said Town Historian and President of the Roslyn Landmark Society Howard Kroplick. “With the combined support of Nassau County and the Town of North Hempstead, this beautiful plaza was built to highlight the historic Mackay Horse Statue in Gerry Park. The new historic marker describes the 98-year journey of the statue and the important role of the Mackey family in our community. Peggy and Dr. Roger Gerry would be very proud of this plaza in the park named in their honor.”
The “horse-tamer” statue underwent a meticulous three-year restoration leading up to its installation in Gerry Pond Park in 2013, and was returned to its original grandeur. While maintaining the physical integrity of the original statue, the restoration included a newly carved groomsmen’s head, creation of missing pieces and stabilization of the entire statue. A ribbon-cutting ceremony ensued in October that year featuring community members, elected officials, and members of the Mackay family.
For more information on this project please call 311 or 516-869-6311.