Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation Grant for the Historic Tavern House

Historic Humes Tavern House


For more information contact Debra Wiener, Director of Development
Email: [email protected] or 516-922-1028

Oyster Bay, New York | The North Shore Land Alliance is honored to have been awarded a grant through the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation for the adaptive reuse of the Tavern House at the Humes Preserve. This historic structure on Oyster Bay Road in Mill Neck will become the Land Alliance’s new headquarters.

The unassuming, wood-framed Tavern House has been a part of Long Island history since the mid-18th century. Over several centuries, this property passed through multiple owners serving as a tavern or inn, farmhand quarters, guest cottage and summer home for Ambassador John P. Humes and his family. The Land Alliance acquired the 28-acre property in 2015. The land was purchased for conservation purposes and is now open to the public. With the conservation of the Humes property, we have created a 150-acre conservation corridor in the most biodiverse area in Nassau County.

The Tavern House within the Humes Preserve will serve as the Land Alliance’s first permanent headquarters. The 4,000 sq ft building will include offices, meeting spaces, room for small-group educational programming, and environmentally-friendly septic and geothermal heating systems. While the structure’s interior will be modernized, the Land Alliance has made great efforts to preserve the building’s original features. “The move will better connect the lands we have conserved for public purposes to the people and the organization who made their permanent protection possible,” said Lisa Ott, President and CEO of the Land Alliance.

“Through this project, we can preserve an important piece of Long Island’s story. The Tavern House has borne witness to hundreds of years of growth. It is an important part of Long Island’s history. With this grant, we are proud that we have ensured that it will be an integral part of Long Island’s future as well”, states Kathryn Curran, Executive Director of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. Thanks to the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation’s generosity, the adaptive reuse of the historic Tavern House at the Humes Preserve will be possible. “The Land Alliance is grateful for The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation’s efforts to preserve Long Island history,” said Lisa Ott. “We are so grateful for the strategic funding they have provided to our organization and so many worthy projects across Long Island.” The Land Alliance’s new headquarters are set to open in February 2023.

Established in 1987, the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation primarily supports the study of New York State history. Until his death in August 2004, Robert David Lion Gardiner was the 16th Lord of the Manor of Gardiner’s Island, NY. The Gardiner family and their descendants have owned Gardiner’s Island since 1639, obtained as part of a royal grant from King Charles I of England. The Foundation is inspired by Robert David Lion Gardiner’s personal passion for New York history. For more information, please visit

The North Shore Land Alliance, Inc. is a nationally accredited nonprofit land trust founded in 2003 that works to conserve and steward Long Island’s natural and historic lands, waters and environmental resources. For more information about the North Shore Land Alliance, please visit