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leven people gather in front of the John Green House, the oldest sandstone house in Nyack. They are the team of the John Green Preservation Coalition led by Win Perry, retired architect and President of the organization. Planks of wood brace the damaged structure, but smiles stretch across the faces of the people doing the work. Just seeing photos of what the Dutch Colonial stone house looked like in its 1810 glory raises hope for its rescuers. They are planning a celebration when the house is completely restored, and one this month to celebrate its 200th birthday. “The house was John Green’s business headquarters for his various local enterprises, but never his residence. He founded the first Methodist Church in Nyack, built the first steamboat serving Nyack, owned sloops that sailed the Hudson River carrying stone and lumber to and from Nyack, Albany and New York and arranged for the construction of Nyack Turnpike to bring produce to Nyack,” explains Win. “He was a philanthropist and exacting keeper of handwritten receipts, kept in a tin box brought to the Historical Society of the Nyacks by his fifth great granddaughter Constance Green who was a soprano in the Metropolitan Opera.” The building has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its association with John Green, who deserves to be celebrated for he changed much of Rockland County with his business acumen, intelligence, creativity and drive. The house is also significant because it is Nyack’s last surviving example of the kind of house built by the early settlers. Green must have been proud of his house, its high mansard roof, rosy pink sandstone walls and the Italianate front porch and

dormers that he added later. He would have had trees and flowering shrubs softening the facade. The sky will be blue again, the shadows on the grass a dark green, the sidewalk shadows violet-gray. I am psyched to see how Win’s team furnishes the inside and gives the house a new life with that old feeling. The Coalition wants to build a wheelchair accessible art gallery on the first floor of the restored John Green House and affordable art studios on the two upper floors. They hope that the house will become a venue for all sorts of community events, and a center for the fostering of local history. People have different reactions to houses. I found myself wondering how Mr. Green’s house would look as a Dutch Colonial Tudor with stucco walls in front crossed by dark wood beams, maybe some Tiffany glass inserts in the windows and on the eastern wall, dark wood window trim and red sandstone. But I’m not on Win Perry’s team. I’m just rooting for him. You’re Invited!

JUNE 22, 2-4PM THE JOHN GREEN HOUSE’S 200TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION Enjoy birthday cake, light fare and refreshments while learning about the house’s architecture, history, progress and improvements. Nyack Library 59 S. Broadway, Nyack, NY

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