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New Director for Landmark Society

Franklin Hill Perrell has been named as the new Executive Director for the Roslyn Landmark Society.

Perrell, a graduate of Hofstra University, is well known for his previous activities as Chief Curator of the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor. Shortly after the museum was privatized in 1989, Perrell began as museum educator responsible for training the docent guides, and then becoming successively Associate Curator, Curator, and Chief Curator. He was instrumental in organizing such well received exhibitions as Louis Comfort Tiffany and Stanford White, The Age of Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and the WPA, Mort Kunstler and the Civil War, and over 40 other major exhibitions, often blending history with art, since 1991.

He has also led tours covering related topics such as Stanford White in New York, Tiffany on Long Island, Born Again Brooklyn- the architecture of Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights. Prior to joining the museum, Perrell was associate director of Inside Art (art tours) and lectured on art history for Hofstra University and LIU – CW Post, Hutton House.

Perrell has had a lifelong interest in historic preservation and has been active in such organizations as SPLIA, Oyster Bay Historical Society, Audubon Society- Theodore Roosevelt Bird Sanctuary, Raynham Hall, Friends of Sagamore Hill, and the North Shore Land Alliance. He is an elected member of the vestry of St Johns Church, Cold Spring Harbor. There, he is chairman of the cemetery committee for St Johns Memorial Cemetery, a 37 acre property in Laurel Hollow landscaped by the Olmsted Brothers in 1911. Perrell is a board member of the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills and an ex-officio board member of the Long Beach Island Landmark Association. He is a former Trustee of the Long Beach Historical Society.

A Long Island native, Perrell lives in Huntington Bay, and is married to Emily Franchina, president of the Nassau County Bar Association, and attorney-partner with Franchina & Giordano in Garden City. Perrell has lectured for the New York State Bar Foundation as keynote speaker at their annual dinners, in 2006 and 2007, on the subject of “Stanford White at the Metropolitan Club.” His specialization in the work of McKim, Mead and White has direct relation to Roslyn as the firm designed two of its most noted sites, Harbor Hill, the Mackay estate demolished in 1947 (but whose gates still stand), and Trinity Church, begun in 1906, the last work of Stanford  White, still extant, and replete with Tiffany windows.

“Sharing my enthusiasm for architectural preservation and its historical context has been a key motive throughout my career,” Perrell said. “I am excited about the opportunities in my new post for developing membership, public programming, and strengthening alliances with comparable organizations. We want to continue identifying and assisting the preservation of significant properties in the greater Roslyn area. I look forward to engaging the community further with art, architecture, and education based on the unique resources of Roslyn’s architectural heritage.”

The society, founded in 1961 by Roger and Peggy Gerry, is one of the leading historic preservation and education organizations on Long Island and has become the guiding force in maintaining the architectural and visual integrity of Roslyn and its surroundings for nearly fifty years.

Approximately forty houses in Roslyn are landmarked under the auspices of the society, which has the responsibility for maintaining historic codes and coordinating with the village Historic District Board. The Society established its reputation by purchasing endangered properties, restoring them, and then reselling them to sympathetic owners, with covenants assuring their continued maintenance in a manner consistent with their historic authenticity. After the Gerrys passed on, it was determined that a professional director assume leadership of the Society and during this period, the Preservation Society, which dealt with the acquisition and resale of historic properties, was merged with the Landmark Society.

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