Looking Out for "The Heart of the Slope"

The Heart of the Slope

Want to give back this year? Why not consider a gift to The Old Stone House?

The Old Stone House, or OSH to its admirers, is that stone house in the Middle of Washington Park (formerly known as JJ Byrne) on 5th Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets and we think it's one of the very best things about living here in the Slope. 

The building is a 1930 reconstruction with some original materials of the Vechte-Cortelyou House which was destroyed in 1897. It is now a museum and gallery space where you can learn all sorts of interesting stuff about local history and where small boys take endless pleasure in staring at the around the diorama of the Battle of Brooklyn from behind the nose-smeared Plexiglas.

But the Old Stone House is far more that a museum. It offers a full program of school visits on subjects related to the history of the house and the battle and extensive schedules of concerts, readings, lectures and other events. For instance, it is hosting what is bound to be a fantastic production of Arthur Miller's The American Clock this March in partnership with Brave New World Repertory Theatre. 


It  features exhibitions by local artists and, in a completely different vein, have taken on shepherding the Washington Park renovation process (Kim Maier, Executive Director says  “once we know the actual schedule, we'll provide timely updates and photos to the community.")

It has been instrumental in working with the 5th Avenue BID to make 4th Street between 5th and 4th Avenues a DOT Playstreet, which means it will be closed to parking and traffic from 8 am - 4 pm daily during the school year, creating a safe space for students and park users.

If that weren’t enough, OSH produces great outdoor programming every summer including movies, music and theater in partnership with Piper Theatre Company.  As the conservation organization for the Park, they are real live people who can try to answer your questions, or send you to the right resource. OSH raises funds and provide the workforce to maintain and improve the gardens, and work directly with Parks to try and make both the House and Washington Park a great place to learn, relax and play.

OSH has also been instrumental in facilitating the Harvest Festival, Earth Day and the Halloween Parade. It is a space for monster making, crafts, boy scouts, LEGO enthusiasts, the Brooklyn Readers and Writers series, book talks, public meetings, birthday parties and yoga.

The OSH is truly the heart of the Slope, not just because of its location but because, through the efforts of the wonderful people who run it, it has become the place for locals to come together, a place both of history and living culture. With budget cuts and shrinking philanthropic support, many non-profits have scaled back - but the Old Stone House finds ways to keep right on giving. Let's help them.

PLEASE help sustain the Old Stone House and Washington Park. Your gifts are the most important part of their income, supplementing the ever-dwindling pool of foundation and government money.

--Your $250 gift will underwrite two classroom programs at OSH.

--Your $150 gift will help pay for a musical performance or an evening of readings.

--Your $100 gift will help pay for the gardener and plantings in the park.

$1,000 can make an enormous difference and multiple gifts of $25 or $50 add up to a lot, so give whatever level is right for you! Learn more about OSH upcoming events and donate on-line through their page on NY Charities. Help keep the Heart of the Slope strong!


Nancy McDermott

A big fan of the OSH