Tiffany Contributes $3 Million to Downtown Manhattan Preservation

Tiffany & Co. Foundation, the grant-making entity of the luxury retailer, is making three separate grants of $1 million each to three New York City not-for-profit organizations: Friends of the High Line, The Battery Conservancy, and the New York Harbor Conservancy. The organizations are associated with preservation efforts in downtown Manhattan. Tiffany said Tuesday that the donations are an effort to preserve the area’s natural history.

The donations were formally announced during a press conference at Tiffany & Co.’s flagship store on Fifth Ave. & 57th Street. The announcement also coincides with Tiffany’s plans to open a new store in October in the area at 37 Wall St. in the former Trust Company of America headquarters. The company is currently is working to restore the 1907 building to its original grandeur.

Fernanda M. Kellogg, Tiffany & Co. Foundation president, presented officials of the three organizations with Tiffany blue boxes that represented the monetary awards. She noted that the new store will be located “around the corner” from where Tiffany was founded. “We’re pleased to return there as we build the shop of the future,” she said.

“We look forward to seeing your hard work coming to life and your vision in making New York City a greater place for all of us,” Kellogg added.

The three recipients will use the grants to further specific goals.

For the Battery Conservancy, the grant will be used to create the Tiffany Woodland Garden that will contribute to the sustainability of the park’s landscape and reflect the imaginative nature of “SeaGlass, Carousel at the Battery. Designed to commemorate Castle Clinton as the site of New York’s first public aquarium (from 1896 to 1941), the ride will feature sea creatures that dive, twist, and glide beneath a nautilus-shaped pavilion.

Founded in 1994, the Conservancy works to rebuild and preserve the natural environment of the Battery, one of the oldest public open spaces in continuous use in New York City.

“The grant is an affirmation to us of the good things that we are doing,” said William C. Rudin, chairman of the Battery Conservancy Board of Trustees.

The National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy’s grant will fund the “Campaign for New York Harbor,” to provide access to the waterfront parks, historic and cultural destinations, and enliven national park sites at the harbor.

“(The Harbor) has been part of my life for the 70-odd years,” said Marian S. Heiskell, the chair and founder of the Harbor Conservancy. “What we are envisioning is a great harbor park for visitors.”

The grant for Friends of the High Line (a 1.5 mile long elevated railway along the west side of Manhattan) will support the construction of the Chelsea Grasslands, a planting feature created by Dutch designer Piet Oudolf, who was inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew on the out-of-use elevated rail tracks. The Chelsea Grasslands will be located on the High Line from 18th to 20th streets.

Robert Hammond, co-founder, Friends of the High Line, compared the dream of such an environment to the dreams that Tiffany creates for its customers.

“This project is a real dream,” Hammond said. “Dreams happen at Tiffany,” he said. “Now thanks to Tiffany, new dreams will start at Chelsea Grasslands.”

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