A large mansion built in 1927 by the Rockefeller family will become part of the Pocantico Center to support philanthropic and artistic efforts.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund announced July 26 that the mansion and several guest houses on the estate have been gifted to the National Trust, whose holds already include Kykuit, the historic home of John D. Rockefeller.
The Playhouse is a Tudor-style mansion built by John D. Rockefeller Jr., son of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller. The property was owned in recent years by David Rockefeller, who died in March 2017 at the age of 101.
The mansion and its guest houses will become part of the Pocantico Center, a meeting and conference venue operated by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. The philanthropic organization was founded by the sons of John D. Rockefeller Jr. in the 1940s.
“For over a century, the Rockefeller family has found a home in Pocantico Hills and the surrounding community, for which we will always feel deep respect, gratitude and love,” said David Rockefeller Jr. “It was there that my father and his brothers cultivated their passions: the environment, historic preservation, international engagement and the arts. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, founded in a meeting at the Playhouse, is one way in which their extraordinary legacy lives on.”
In addition to Kykuit, the Pocantico Center includes the Marcel Breuer House, the Coach Barn, the Orangerie and the property’s gardens and landscapes.
The Pocantico Center hosts philanthropic and public programs of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. It’s also a home for dozens of multidisciplinary artist residencies for dancers, musicians, playwrights, poets and visual artists each year, culminating in a summer performance series that brings New York City arts and culture to the doorstep of Westchester.
The Playhouse will add to the center’s rehearsal and meeting space for cultural performances, conferences and other public programs. The guest houses, meanwhile, will increase the center’s capacity for artist residencies and allow the center to run concurrent programming.
Kykuit is one of 28 historic sites in the National Trust’s national portfolio. The historic home receives more than 32,000 guests each year for tours, according to the announcement.
“Saving, using, and sharing historic properties like Kykuit and now the nearby Playhouse and guest houses help us to understand and appreciate the past, engage with the complex issues that define our present, and come together in a beautiful space to imagine and create a better future,” said Stephanie K. Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The National Trust and Rockefeller Brothers Fund accepted the operation of the additional buildings and land on July 15. The organizations are planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony for September.