Frederick Law Olmsted’s Staten Island Farm Is Crumbling as Parks Department Lies Fallow

Olmsted, himself. (Flickr)

A dilapidated farmhouse bedecked with exterior virtues from the same hands that influenced many of the city’s greatest parks might soon become available to the public.

Frederick Law Olmsted, famous for Central and Prospect parks, among so many others, once remade a Staten Island farm to fit his vision of urban pastoral, according to The Times. Perhaps that claim to fame alone is enough to yield renovations from the city. But then again, probably not.

Carlotta DeFillo, librarian and reenactor at Staten Island’s Historic Richmond Town, as well as a former resident of the house, sold it to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department in 2006 for $600,000. Even so, the real estate has yet to see any renovations come to fruition. Nor have any projections been made as to financing them. Ms. DeFillo told The Times that she hopes it will someday become open to the public for viewing.

“We used to roll down that hill in the summers and sled down it in the winter,” she told The Times, reminiscing on growing up in the house. “Every time anybody asks me about this house, I’m kind of overcome.”

Without renovations starting anytime soon, the next alternative to preserving its historic virtues is the possibility of putting it in the hands of the Historic House Trust, which maintains 23 old homes throughout the city.

Hopefully someone steps in before the house goes totally to seed.