The Jay Estate in Rye was the home of one of our nation's greatest Founding Fathers, John Jay...

...and today, it is YOUR park

More about the Jay Estate

Author, Historian Kevin Peraino Hired as New Executive Director

The Board of Trustees of the Jay Heritage Center (JHC) is thrilled to welcome noted author and historian Kevin Peraino as Executive Director effective June 17, 2019. Peraino brings the discerning eye and voice of an international journalist to this leadership position, together with a passion for the outdoors and responsible stewardship of our natural resources. JHC is the non-profit steward of the 23-acre Jay Estate, which is one of fewer than 2,600 National Historic Landmark sites in the nation.

Kevin brings incomparable experience as a writer for Newsweek to this new role. He reported from around the country and the world for more than a decade, and his articles on foreign affairs earned him recognition as a finalist for the prestigious Livingston Award. Kevin’s keen analysis of the evolution of presidential diplomacy in the United States led him to write his first book, Lincoln in the World: The Making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power (2013). Read more here.

News & Upcoming Events

These Places & People Matter!

How Can We Best Preserve African American History?

Preservation of African American history takes real scholarship, advocacy and partnerships. More than 90 individuals of every age agree and attended our program “Dwellings of the Enslaved and Freed in the City and Town of Rye” held on Sunday, June 9th at the 1838 Jay Mansion. Thank you to our superb speakers Joseph McGill, Jr., Founder of The Slave Dwelling Project and Dr. Larry Spruill, of Morehouse College for two vibrant, empowering presentations and discussions.

Earlier in the day, both guest speakers took the time to visit the Slave Quarters at the Bush-Lyon Homestead in Port Chester along with the African American Cemetery on North Street. Read more about the day’s program here



Restoring Dignity to African American Narratives

When we invited Joseph McGill, Jr., founder of The Slave Dwelling Project, to speak at the Jay Heritage Center, one of the first things we told him about were remains of an 18th-century cabin buried in the shadow of the Jay Mansion. Uncovered in 2017 by Eagle Scouts under the discerning gaze of archaeologist Dr. Eugene Boesch, the structure’s collapsed brick chimney was found several feet from a horse chestnut tree near the main house. Could the structure they unearthed have been the place where men, women and children owned by the Budd and Jay families woke each morning and slept each night while living in forced servitude? Was it built by enslaved hands?

At first glance, the excavated remnants called to mind a building in nearby Port Chester at the Bush-Lyon Homestead that was still above ground, standing in plain sight. How do these two testamentary objects, indelible proof of Northern slavery, compare with each other?  How can we preserve these authentic cultural resources using best preservation practices? Read more here.

Fall Soirée - October 19th

Save the Date!

JHC Supporters gathered at the Mansion this past June 9 to kickoff brainstorming for this year’s Nieuw Amsterdam Soirée which will be held Saturday, October 19 at the Jay Mansion. The high energy evening will feature Dinner and Dancing and Live Music from the band Octane!

Co- Chairs for this event are Tracy and Luke Edwards, Inga and Ben Mao, Emily Kindler Tisdale and Bobby Tisdale, Christy and George Schultze, Joan and Will Steere and Marie-Anne and Joris Van Roijen

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Contractors' Section

CDs 100% for Historic Jay Gardens and Palmer Tennis House

NBWLA Specs & Plans for Historic Jay Gardens

Preservation of the gardens and the meadow are of paramount concern as the grassland birds that have historically relied upon this habitat are an increasingly threatened and diminishing group. We are pleased to be working with Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects and Larry Weaner Design Associates on these renewal projects approved by the New York State Office of Historic Preservation (SHPO).

Dropbox links for qualified bidders can be accessed here:

Approved Specifications by NBWLA for Historic Jay Gardens

Approved Plans by NBWLA 100% C & D

Geotechnical Report by Langan Engineering, Environmental Surveying

Soil Testing Results by Turf Diagnostics


Stephen Tilly Architects Specs and Plans for 1917 Palmer Tennis House

The 1917 Palmer Tennis House is believed to be the third oldest indoor facility of its kind in the country and carries both architectural and historical importance. in 2015, a grant of $391,056 in Federal Superstorm Sandy funds was secured by Congressman Eliot Engel and awarded to JHC for purposes of rehabilitating the structure for community use and youth clinics. Once preserved, the tennis house can be a community location to teach children the sport of tennis in a historic setting.  JHC is seeking private and corporate donors to complete the restoration of this facility.

Dropbox links for qualified bidders can be accessed here:

Approved CD-100% by Stephen Tilly Architects for Structural Stabilization and Roof Repair of 1917 Palmer Tennis House

Palmer Tennis Specs Part 1 

Palmer Tennis Specs Part 2

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