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  • Title: Laura Stirn - Casa Belvedere
  • Location: Staten Island, NY
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During the “Gilded Age” many of America’s ‘nouveau riche’ chose to live on Grymes Hill, a NYC cliffside, picturesque area boasting stunning views of the narrows and NY Harbor. In 1908, silk merchants Louis and Laura Stirn built their Italianate-style, neo-renaissance home atop the hill, and today it’s one of the few remaining of its kind in all of NYC. Notable “women of steel” had strong ties to the ‘Stirn Mansion’ -- Suzette Cole-Claiborne-Grymes, Emily Warren-Roebling & owner, Laura Roebling-Methfessel-Stirn. Their contributions helped shape Staten Island, the Brooklyn Bridge and ultimately the USA. In 2009, Gina Biancardi reclaimed the long abandoned and neglected ‘Stirn Mansion’ and began to resuscitate and transform it into ‘Casa Belvedere”, a nonprofit arts and cultural center. Thanks to Biancardi’s respect for the past and vision for the future, this important piece of America’s story continues to be told and will retain its sense of place in perpetuity. Restoration is ongoing.