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, Social Justice, Architecture, Environmental Stewardship and Landscape Conservation.

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

As stewards first chartered by the New York State Board of Education in 1990 to preserve, protect and interpret the 23-acre site, 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 public-private partnership with New York State and Westchester County Parks forged in 2013. NO annual funding comes from taxpayer dollars – ALL funding comes from tax-deductible donations from individuals, foundations, grants and corporations.

The Jay Estate is 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.

Our goal is to tell many stories of individuals enslaved and free. Come see why this American place was designated a National Historic Landmark, one of fewer than 2600 such sites in the nation. Come immerse yourself and your family in history and nature and see what author Tony Hiss described as a “time funnel” view back in time from our front door down to Long Island Sound.



About Us - Trustees and Staff

Suzanne Clary

Vice Presidents
Michael A. Kovner
Joris van Roijen
Betsy Buttrill White

Tim Yates

Assistant Treasurer
Joris van Roijen

Executive Director
Kevin Peraino


Catherine “Kitty” Aresty
Aileen Burdick
Tracy Edwards
Lori Fontanes
Elizabeth Schoff Garrett
Sara Goddard
Prof. Shelby D. Green
Brad Neuman
Jorge Otero-Pailos
Caroline Olmstead Wallach

Advisory Board
Kay Ryan Booth
Jay E. Cantor
Demarest “Demie” Duckworth
Pierre Jay de Vegh
Sharon & John Jay Du Bois
Alexa Hampton
Nikolaas Henket
Emily & John Clarkson Jay
James T. Kelsey
David McI. Parsons
Prof. Nicholas A. Robinson
Griff Samples
Frank Emile Sanchis III
Arete Swartz Warren

Awards and Milestones

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;
100% CD Plans for Historic Jay Gardens Approved

25th Anniversary!

May 2016
Larry Weaner Landscape Assoc. 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