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Historic Cherry Hill

Grand Opening of Historic Cherry Hill's Edward Frisbee Center for Collections & Research

Albany, NY-- September 23, 2003 -- The white pine and leather cradle used in 1749 by Maria Van Rensselaer, daughter of Albany's 28th Mayor, Robert Sanders. The 1835 saddle owned by Solomon Van Rensselaer, military hero, congressman, and Albany's postmaster in the early years of the 19th century. A vast collection of the Van Rensselaer-Rankin family's personal, business and legal papers, including land records, will and estate papers, journals, school papers, cancelled checks, and letters. These are just a few of the Van Rensselaer family attic treasures that will be unveiled to the public for the first time on October 1st at 11:00 a.m. at a ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration for Historic Cherry Hill's Edward Frisbee Center for Collections & Research.

Edward Frisbee, for whom the new facility was named, was a partner in the Cherry Hill family's law firm and founding president of the museum. According to Historic Cherry Hill Director, Liselle LaFrance, the center was constructed to eliminate the weight of storage loads from Cherry Hill's wood-frame 1787 historic structure, and to preserve the museum's diverse collections of 20,000 objects, 30,000 manuscripts, 7,500 textiles, 5,000 books, and 3,000 photographs. "Many of the collections have been moved to the climate-controlled facility," said LeFrance, "and the museum has raised more than $530,000 of the total $625,000 project cost. We are making great progress and so we wanted to give people a chance to view some of the objects that have been stored in Cherry Hill's attic for more than 200 years.

"Each object in Cherry Hill's attic tells a story not only about a prominent Albany family, but about the significance of the times in which they lived," said Priscilla Frisbee. Generation after generation lived, thrived, and struggled to maintain their identities in an ever-changing world. It is crucial that we preserve the collections that illustrate this family's story because it's a story that provides a window to Albany's past."

Michael Beiter, President of Historic Cherry Hill, said that the center would not have been possible without the generosity and commitment of the Frisbee family, the Bender Family Foundation, local elected officials, and others who will be honored at the October 1st event. "Historic Cherry Hill is extremely grateful to the people who helped make the collections center a reality," said Beiter. "Now five generations of the Van Rensselaer family's treasured possessions will get a second lease on life and be properly preserved for future generations to view and enjoy.

Beiter said Historic Cherry Hill is working to raise the remainder of the funding needed--nearly $90,00--to complete the collections center project, and will then turn attention toward restoring the museum. "The storage loads in the attic have taken a toll on the walls of the house," said Beiter. "Once the entire attic collection is settled in the Frisbee Center, we will begin the job of saving the house."

The October 1st event will include remarks by Historic Cherry Hill's President, Frisbee family members, Mayor Jennings, County Executive Breslin, and others. Cherry Hill will offer a sneak preview of attic treasures, behind-the-scenes tours of the Frisbee Center, and free house tours throughout the afternoon. The press and public are invited to attend.

The Edward Frisbee Center, Cherry Hill Street, Albany, New York. Historic Cherry Hill is located at 523 South Pearl Street in Albany, New York, just off of Interstate 787, Exit 2. The Edward Frisbee Center is located behind the museum on Cherry Hill Street. From Cherry Hill turn right, turn right up McCarty Avenue, and right onto Cherry Hill Street. The center is on the right side of the street.