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North Hempstead officials plan new bidding process for Schumacher House restoration

Schumacher House in New Hyde Park is a

Schumacher House in New Hyde Park is a historic but deteriorating farmhouse built in the 1700s that is in desperate need of restoration, March 3, 2015. Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

Town of North Hempstead officials are planning another round of bidding on the restoration of the historic but deteriorating Schumacher House in New Hyde Park, which could cost $2.5 million to complete.

No new date has been set for bids to be accepted.

A transformation of the former 18th-century farmhouse into a public meeting place and home for local historical documents has been planned following the receipt last year of a $500,000 grant from the New York State Dormitory Authority that was slated to be used to start the project. Town officials are seeking other grant funding.

"There is concern that the house continues to deteriorate, and we will be issuing another Request for Proposals as soon as possible," said North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth. "The Schumacher House is an important historical landmark in the town and we are confident that we will generate interest in the restoration project from a number of qualified firms."

The house, located in Clinton G. Martin Park near the corner of Marcus Avenue and New Hyde Park Road, is listed on the state and national historic registers. It was closed in 1990 due to neglect. Renovations were expected to begin late last year but no one signed up for the job by the Dec. 4 bidding deadline.

"We did have seven interested firms look at the house," said Carole Trottere, a North Hempstead spokeswoman. "We believe that there were issues of timing on the part of the firms and that they could not take on another project at that time."

Trottere added that most of the companies specialized in the restoration of historic houses.

One of those firms was the Westbury-based Benchmark Construction Group Inc., which is finishing up a three-month renovation at the 100-year-old Sea Cliff Village Library.

Benchmark owner Marina Lintzeris said she might be interested if the Schumacher project was rebid but noted there were problems with the architectural drawings the first time around.

"The drawings were not too clear -- there were too many ambiguities, too many variables and potential extras," Lintzeris said. "If they firm up the drawings we would be glad to rebid."

Work on the Schumacher property would begin with clearing out the rats, raccoons and other wildlife in the 3,200-square-foot, two-story wood-frame house and drying out the water-damaged structure, said Kevin J. Walsh, an architect for BBS Architects and Engineers in Patchogue.

The house was acquired along with additional acreage by the Sperry Corp. in 1941. Sperry was a major navigation and aviation equipment manufacturer.

After the United Nations was established in 1945 and the first General Assembly began meeting nearby, the house served as a school for the children of UN employees and delegates.

In 1952, when Sperry needed the area for additional parking, the house was sold to Fred Schumacher Jr., a member of a prominent local farming family.

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