Jay Heritage Center

Our Mission

Our non-profit, the Jay Heritage Center (JHC) is dedicated to transforming the 23-acre Jay Estate into a vibrant educational campus, hosting innovative and inclusive programs about American History, Historic Preservation, Social Justice, and Environmental Stewardship

We hope to encourage people of all ages to understand, preserve and protect our shared heritage and to inspire the future historians, civic advocates and stewards of our fragile cultural and natural resources.

As stewards first chartered by the New York State Board of Education in 1990 to preserve, protect and interpret the 23-acre Jay Estate, JHC has launched efforts to restore the extensive complex of buildings, their gardens and grounds for use with resonant indoor and outdoor classrooms. Our work is guided by a unique public-private partnership with New York State and Westchester County. NO annual funding comes from taxpayer dollars – ALL funding comes from tax-deductible donations from foundations, grants, corporations and individuals from our community!

Come learn why this American place was designated a National Historic Landmark, one of fewer than 2600 such sites in the nation. Find out why the Jay Heritage Center received a New York State Historic Preservation Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Achievement in 2022.

Come explore a place of irreplaceable cultural importance and history, a place that provides visitors with an opportunity to study the evolution of our nation, its democracy and its complicated system of social justice. We tell many stories – of individuals enslaved and free. Help us continue to tell the stories that engage you!



About Us - Trustees and Staff

Suzanne Clary

Vice Presidents
Tracy Edwards
Caroline Olmstead Wallach

Tim Yates

Interim Executive Director
Suzanne Clary

Horticultural Director
Lucia Maestro

Office Manager and Assistant Program Director
Meredith Slater

Catherine “Kitty” Aresty
Nicholas Cassin
Dan Derman
Elizabeth Schoff Garrett
Prof. Shelby D. Green
Lindsay Bello Martin
Jorge Otero-Pailos
Olney Reynolds

Advisory Board
Jay E. Cantor
Peter Doane
Demarest “Demie” Duckworth
Pierre Jay de Vegh
John Jay Du Bois
Alexa Hampton
John Clarkson Jay
James T. Kelsey
David McI. Parsons
Prof. Nicholas A. Robinson
Frank Emile Sanchis III
Arete Swartz Warren

Awards and Milestones

July 2024
Jay Heritage Center Awarded $500,000 for further Mansion Restoration and ADA accessibility thanks to Sen. Shelley B. Mayer

April 2024
Larry Weaner Design for Edible Plant Learning Center Wins $40,000 Garden Club of America Founders Fund Award

December 2023
Nelson Byrd Woltz Design of Jay Estate Gardens Win McKim, Mead and White Award

October 2023
JHC Matches Wachenheim Challenge Grant – $1.5 Million Raised Towards Completing Restoration of Jay Mansion

September 2023
JHC Private Public Partnership with NY State Parks and Westchester County Parks Approved

July 2023
$150,000 Parks & Trails Grant Awarded to JHC for ADA Garden Paths

December 2022
JHC Receives Nonprofit Achievement Award from
NY State for Excellence in Historic Preservation

JHC Receives Transformational Gift of $1.5 Million for Sue and Edgar Wachenheim Exhibit and Performance Center

June 2021
Historic Jay Gardens Public Opening

June 2020
$500,000 Restoration Phase for 1916 Palmer Tennis House completed;
$1,000,000 Historic Jay Gardens Rehabilitation Begun

Stephen Tilly Architects Retained for 1916 Palmer Tennis House;
Launch of Revolutionary Westchester 250 at Jay Estate

May 2016
Larry Weaner Landscape Architects Rehabilitate Jay Meadow, Installs Wildflowers, Native Grasses

August 2015
Awarded $391,056 Hurricane Sandy Relief for Stabilization of 1916 Palmer Tennis House

December 2014
Awarded $500,000 Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Grant from NYS Parks for Historic Jay Gardens; Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects Retained

July 2013
JHC Awarded Stewardship of 23-Acre Jay Estate by New York State Parks & Westchester County Parks

June 2013
Garden Club of America (Zone III) Award for Historic Preservation

January 2013
Named to New York State’s Path Through History – Civil Rights, American Revolutionary War

June 2012
Jay Medal for Service Inaugurated – Catherine “Kitty” Aresty and Barbaralee-Diamonsteinspielvogel are First Recipients

June 2010
Garden Club of America (Rye Garden Club) Award for Historic Preservation

January 2009
Selected as 1 of 99 Sites in the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area (HRVNHA) for Architecture, Environment, Freedom & Dignity, Landscapes & Gardens

October 2008
1838 Peter Augustus Jay Mansion Becomes Oldest National Historic Landmark (NHL) in New York State to Install Heat Source Pump and Cooling System, 1st NHL in Westchester to do so

December 2007
$100,000 Save America’s Treasures Grant from National Park Service Completed

Recognized as 1 of 13 Sites on the African American Heritage Trail of Westchester County because of Jay Family’s Role in Abolishing Slavery and Acclaimed Social Justice Programs

August 1993
Designated a National Historic Landmark by National Park Service – John Jay’s Home Recognized as “Centerpiece” of Boston Post Road Historic District

July 1992
Jay Heritage Center, Jay Descendants and Jay Coalition Secure Future of Jay Estate

Jay Heritage Center Chartered by the New York State Board of Regents and Incorporated as a 501 (c) 3 Non-Profit