Thursday, Jan 23 2020

Roslyn Grist Mill Lifting Day, Roslyn, New York

Here is your opportunity to see a once-in-a-lifetime historic event.


Teams of preservation specialists will raise the historic Roslyn Grist Mill eight feet so a new foundation can be poured. While the mill is being lifted, workers will quickly add sections of timber cribbing to account for the additional height. The new, expanded headroom will allow workers to excavate the existing foundation and begin construction on a new water-tight foundation. During this time, timber frame specialists using centuries-old wood restoration methods will remove and restore deteriorated columns and support beams.

Upon completion of the foundation and timber restoration later this year, the mill will be lowered four feet to street level in order to provide safe public access to the mill for future use as an education center. It will be the first time the building will be at street level in over 100 years, when the roadbed was raised in the early 1900s (see attached rendering).


10:00 am to Noon, Thursday, January 23, 2020

Roslyn Grist Mill, 1347 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn, NY, 11576

Parking for Press and Media will be available in the Village parking lots on Old Northern Boulevard across from the mill. Refreshments will be served courtesy of Roslyn Landmark Society.

Key Visual: The mill will be lifted off its current foundation by hydraulic jacks supported by six columns of timber cribbings and two steel lifting beams.  The lifting will begin at 8:00 am and take approximately four hours.



Roslyn Grist Mill is one of the few surviving examples of Dutch wood-framed industrial architecture in the United States. Built between 1715 and 1741, the water-powered mill operated for over 150 years providing the local farmers with ground meal or flour from their grain.

President George Washington visited Roslyn on his historic 1790 tour of Long Island and met with businessman and mill owner, Hendrik Onderdonk. Washington wrote in his diary that he was “kindly received and well entertained” and the mill “seems to carry on with spirit and to profit.” In the early 1900s, the roadbed in front of the mill was raised resulting in the first floor of building dropping four feet below street level. From 1920 to 1974, the mill served as a tea house and popular tourist attraction. The building was placed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places in 1986.


The long-awaited mill restoration began in November 2018 under the supervision of the Roslyn Landmark Society. Chris Cole of Cole Engineering & Construction, a Vermont company specializing in historic structure restoration, manages the project.


The work included safely staging the site, stabilizing the wood structure, mold removal, restoring power to the site, installing a temporary protective roof and removal of the front façade to re-establish the original form of the mill. The wooden “husk frame” which contains gears and shafts for driving and supporting the millstones were also removed for restoration. The first phase of restoration was completed in September 2019.


Over $3 million has been raised for the restoration by the Roslyn Landmark Society from New York State, Nassau County, the Gerry Charitable Trust, the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, and Roslyn Landmark Society’s sponsors and members. Once returned to street level and the restoration completed, the building will provide historical and educational exhibits for the public to enjoy.

Location: Roslyn Grist Mill

Address: 1347 Old Northern Boulevard, Roslyn 11576