A ‘grand old lady’ being brought back to ‘former beauty’

07/18/2014 10:00 AM |
Suffolk County Historical Society executive director Kathy Curran in the organization's East Wing Gallery Thursday.  Workers are moving furniture and artwork into storage while the space is restored. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Suffolk County Historical Society executive director Kathy Curran in the organization’s East Wing Gallery Thursday. Workers are moving furniture and artwork into storage while the space is restored. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

The Suffolk County Historical Society is one step closer toward giving its East Wing Gallery a makeover.

Last week, the Riverhead organization announced it received a $50,000 gift from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation to restore the 1950s gallery to its “original grandeur,” executive director Kathy Curran said.

“It’s really a spectacular space,” Ms. Curran said. “This building is like a grand old lady that we’re bringing back to her former beauty.”

She said the money will be used to install air conditioning to help protect delicate exhibits, perform plaster, window and floor work and restore six original light fixtures with museum-quality track lighting.

“This is an exciting gift for the Suffolk County Historical Society,” Ms. Curran said. “We are extremely grateful to have the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation as a partner in advancing the historic preservation mission of SCHS. This generous grant demonstrates a commitment to preserving the rich history of Suffolk County, Long Island.”

Established in 1987, the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation supports the study, preservation and restoration of New York State history — particularly in Suffolk County — in terms of culture, art and historic tradition.

It’s named for Robert David Lion Gardiner, who was the 16th Lord of the Manor of Gardiner’s Island until his death in 2004.

ryoung@timesreview.com