The 19th-century Bird Homestead and the adjacent Rye Meeting House (formerly Grace Chapel) are located on Milton Road in Rye, New York, and border the Blind Brook estuary as it enters Long Island Sound. These two City-owned properties, which are linked historically and environmentally, are now united as one protected enclave under the management of the not-for-profit Committee to Save the Bird Homestead (CSBH). These properties form the nucleus of a mixed-use, historic neighborhood, long defined by its connection to the waterfront. The project consists of replacement of the roofs of the Bird Homestead's three buildings plus drainage systems and foundation repairs, as well as replacement of the main roof and restoration of the clerestory for the Meeting House. This work will give all the buildings long-term protection from the elements. The Bird Homestead contains an 1835 Greek Revival house, a 19th-century barn and a woodworker?s shop with attached henhouse and woodshed. These historic structures retain a high degree of authenticity, but suffer from long-deferred maintenance. A rare survivor in densely developed lower Westchester, the Homestead is representative of the small farms that once dotted the area. It was home to three nationally significant scientists. The Meeting House was constructed as a schoolhouse at another location and moved to its present spot on Milton Road in 1867, where multiple additions over the next decade transformed it into a chapel and library. Its architectural form is unique in Westchester.
Historic Property Acquisition, Development and Planning