Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

June 18, 2015

Randy Simons | Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868 |

State Parks Seeks Partnerships to Enrich Mills-Norrie State Park and Staatsburgh State Historic Site

Expanded visitor services sought for historic spaces at Hudson Valley park

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) today issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking potential private and not-for-profit partners to offer expanded visitor services, food and beverage sales, and lodging at underutilized buildings throughout the Mills-Norrie State Park/Staatsburgh Historic Site complex.

"State Parks believes there is a potential to create a vivid Hudson Valley destination point centered at Mills-Norrie State Park that will provide a rich experience for visitors to the site, while honoring its history," State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. "State Parks is seeking creative partnerships to provide visitors with attractive new services in underutilized spaces of existing buildings or other appropriate areas of the park, while helping us to revitalize and preserve the Mills Mansion and other unique historic structures in the park."

The RFP seeks proposals to creatively use and program the Mills Mansion basement, including the kitchen, as well as its outdoor patio to provide a café or light dining venue that offers a distinct interpretive experience that is aligned with the site's mission as a historic house museum. The basement includes vacant areas that previously housed State Parks' regional offices. The upper floors are not subject to the RFP. Other portions of the RFP pertain to related structures on the property such as the Hoyt House, Carriage Barn and Dairy Barn. Staatsburgh Historic Site, also known as Mills Mansion, will continue to be operated by State Parks as a historic house museum, preserved for public access for tours and educational engagement. All work must respect established historic preservation standards.

Potential options for historic rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of other historic structures in the park include:

  • Guest lodging, creative arts space and interpretive programming in the 1855-1857 Hoyt House Complex, designed by noted architect Calvert Vaux, which includes the Hoyt House residence, five-bay garage, coach house with stable, small garage, and cow/hay barn;
  • Event space, guest lodging, culinary arts, concessions, and visitor services in the 1894 Carriage Barn;

  • Dining, event space, guest lodging, culinary arts, concessions, studios for creative arts, and visitor services in the 1897-98 Dairy Barn;

  • Lodging in the 1903-10 Cove House, a.k.a. the Gardener's House, or the 1910 Tree House.

State Parks will also entertain proposals for the design, construction and operation of new single unit or duplex-style cabins or cottages in select areas of the 1,100-acre park complex.

Proposals are due by July 31, 2015. The RFP will be available after 3 p.m. June 18, 2015 on the New York State Contract Reporter website. Visit and search for X001219.

State Parks would issue a license to the business or organization that would provide the greatest public benefit and financial return to the park. State Parks has authority to issue a license for a period up to 20 years, in consideration of a total capital investment exceeding $1 million. State legislation is necessary to authorize a term longer than 20 years.

The RFP will build on $16.5 million in capital improvements in the park complex under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's NY Parks 2020 plan. The state has invested nearly $6.5 million on interior and exterior work improvements at Mills Mansion, including the estate wall, gates and historic roadways, and restoration of the front portico. At Mills-Norrie State Park, about $10 million in federal, state and private funds have been invested to weatherize Hoyt House; improve the marina, renovate the Norrie Environment Center and repair roads and trails throughout the park.

Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York State is making a historic commitment to improving and expanding access to outdoor recreation. The Governor's NY Parks 2020 program is a multi-year commitment to leverage $900 million in private and public funding for State Parks from 2011 to 2020. The Governor's 2015-16 Executive Budget allocates $110 million toward this initiative.