A virtual who’s who of Ridgewood and Bushwick joined the Greater Ridgewood Historical Society (GRHS) in celebrating the completion of the historic Vander Ende-Onderdonk House’s new roof during its Raise the Roof event on Thursday night.
Those in attendance included Councilman Antonio Reynoso, Congresswoman Grace Meng, Vincent Arcuri and Gary Giordano from Queens Community Board 5, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Tom Finkelpearl, Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, among several others.
The push to get a new roof for the Onderdonk House, located at 1820 Flushing Ave., began in 2009 when the GRHS held a fundraiser to help get the project started.
“We were able to raise over $25,000, really pretty impressive for one night, but well short of the working estimate of over $350,000 to restore the roof,” said Linda Monte, president of the GRHS. “That’s when our super women, Diana Reyna and Elizabeth Crowley…sprang into action. They were able to add member items to the New York City Capitol Budget.”
This allowed the Onderdonk House to get the additional funding to repair the roof.
“Although we had a delay in the construction of the work, we finished this past fall, under budget,” Monte added. “Tonight is to thank you, recognize our major donors, officially declare the roof restored and have a great time.”
Guests were allowed inside the Onderdonk House to tour the restored attic to get a look at the wooden shingle gambrel roof.
During the ceremony, the GRHS dedicated a plaque to the major donors who helped fund the Onderdonk House’s brand-new roof.
“It gives me great pleasure to have joined with Council member Elizabeth Crowley to support those landmarkings for historic districts in Ridgewood,” Reyna said. “Historic preservation does not only mean preserving old buildings, it means preserving the entire identity of the neighborhood. The fact that the Onderdonk House exists is a great illustration of what we can accomplish with participation from community and government.”
In lieu of a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony, the GRHS gave each of the major donors of the project their very own hammer, which they used to ceremonially hammer in a nail of the newly constructed roof.
The Onderdonk House was built in the late 18th century and is the oldest Dutch Colonial stone house in New York City. With the help of federal, state and local funds, it was opened to the public in 1982 and in June of 1996, it was given city landmark status. The house now serves as a museum for a permanent exhibit on the archaeology of the Onderdonk site, as well as having changing exhibits relating to history, the arts and culture.