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LatimerPodiumMeresteadJuly 10, 2019 – With its 130 rolling acres traversed by beautiful walking paths and anchored with a stunning main house, Merestead in Mount Kisco is a Westchester County Park that is used by visitors who stroll its gentle hills, observe nature and even enjoy an occasional musical performance. Westchester County has filed a “Petition for Equitable Deviation of an Indenture/Deed, Trust and Other Documents Concerning the Grant of Merestead” in Westchester Supreme Court to explore added uses at the park so that many more County residents will find reasons to discover and enjoy Merestead, Westchester County Executive George Latimer and County Legislator Kitley Covill announced during a tour of the park today.

Latimer said: “The home is in a serious state of disrepair and we need more money to address the issues without placing an additional burden on taxpayers. We see the potential for Merestead to be a destination for many more people than currently enjoy the park’s offerings. Restrictions on the deed have limited the County to offer passive uses and certain artistic only, but a committee of representatives from my administration and the Board of Legislators is currently working to ease restrictions to allow for additional public use and enjoyment of the property.”

These potential changes to the deed include:

  • Liquidation of the entire balance of the fund left to care for the property, roughly $4.3M;

  • Removal of restrictions which will allow for broader use of the property without violating the goals and objects of the Dr. and Mrs. Patterson; and

  • Authorization to sell certain items from the property with the proceeds being solely dedicated to Merestead.

Merestead, a the former estate of William Sloane, consists of farmland, woods, gardens and buildings including its 1906 Georgian Revival main house designed by architects Delano and Aldrich. Bequeathed to the county in 1982 by Margaret Sloan Patterson and her husband Dr. Robert Patterson as a life estate, Merestead became a Westchester County park with the passing of Margaret on August 3, 2000.

Westchester County Legislator Kitley Covill, who represents Mt. Kisco, said: “Merestead has so much potential, and this approach will open doors for uses that were simply not permitted due to restrictions in the deed, will and trust. It is destined to become a jewel in Northern Westchester as was intended by the Patterson family when the family gifted it to the County.”

Latimer added: “This program will enable us to preserve the beautiful Merestead main house and help us to make the park a more viable destination for years to come.”

Merestead is located at 455 Byram Lake Road in Mount Kisco.