Target: North Hills Mayor Marvin Natiss
Goal: Grant Inisfada of Long Island an official historic landmark designation.
One of the things our nation prides itself on is a dedication to protecting and preserving its national treasures, be they environmental wonders or examples of national history. One such structure falling within the latter category is Inisfada. Named from the Gaelic translation for for Long Island, the mansion known as Inisfada is an impressive and sprawling construction built for Nicholas Brady in 1919. Just 15 years later it was donated to the Jesuit order by Genevieve Brady, Nicholas Brady’s widow. In the ensuing years it served as both a school for the order as well as a seminary. Recently it had been put to use as the St. Ignatius Jesuit Retreat House.
In addition to this rich lifespan the site also holds a significant archaeological value. Native American arrowheads, pottery shards, and other relics have been found on the grounds, especially in the vicinity of the gatekeeper’s house. Despite this storied history the Jesuit order has found itself unable to retain the mansion, officially closing its operations as a retreat at the start of June. This, and the for-sale posting of the property leaves the mansion’s future in doubt. It would be tragic for this Tudor-revival style building to be demolished simply to make way for more lucrative property developments.
The only recourse is to afford the building legislative protection. Declaring Inisfada an official historic landmark would allow for the preservation of the site as an important piece of Americana. Landmarks be they natural or man-made are finite, once destroyed they can never return. It would be tragic to lose Inisfada forever simply to make a profit from a more modern development.
Dear Mayor Natiss,
While conventional thinking generally looks directly to Europe when referencing architectural beauty, the United States holds several tremendous examples as well which deserve to be held in much the same regard. One such is the Tudor revival style mansion named after the location where it was built, Inisfada (“Long Island” in Gaelic). This sprawling piece of architectural beauty was built in 1919 for Nicholas Brady however it has spent the bulk of its lifespan under a much different ownership. The property was donated by Nicholas Brady’s widow Genevieve in 1934 to the Jesuit order to use as they wished.
Over the years the order has utilized the property as a school, seminary, and most recently as the St. Ignatius Jesuit Retreat House. This last role however has recently come to an end, putting the property’s future in doubt. Currently the building’s existence rests squarely on prospective buyers, who may upon paying the current $49 million price tag elect to demolish the estate in favor of a more lucrative modern development. This would be a tragic end for a storied building that carries with it both historic and archaeological value (due to ancient Native American pottery and arrowheads found on the property).
Were the site to be designated an official historic landmark it would be protected for the foreseeable future. In addition, when frequented by history and architecture buffs, it could become a revenue generating property for Long Island that benefits all residents rather another lot merely channeling funds into the developer holding the biggest pocketbook. For the protection of history and the benefit of Long Island, Inisfada must be protected with a historic landmark designation.
[Your Name Here]