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SI Live: Snug Harbor institutions net $11M in NYC funding for sitewide improvements

By Paul Liotta |

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — City officials announced Thursday that some of Staten Island’s most prominent cultural institutions would be the beneficiaries of $11 million in tax-payer money.

Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo joined local community and cultural leaders at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden in Livingston to announce the new funding for the center along with the Staten Island Museum, the Noble Maritime Collection, which are located on the same campus.

Staten Island Museum
The Staten Island Museum on the grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural Center. (Scott Axelrod for the Staten Island Advance)

In total, $700,000 will go to chiller and air conditioning unit replacements at The Noble Maritime Collection, $5.4 million will be used for site-wide improvements around Snug Harbor and $5.3 million will fund the next phase of the Staten Island Museum’s new science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) center.

“Staten Island is home to some of the city’s most remarkable cultural institutions, and thanks to this new funding from Mayor Adams and our partners in the Borough President’s office and in the City Council, we’re making investments that will ensure these organizations continue to thrive and provide New Yorkers with amazing cultural experiences for years to come,” Cumbo, a local resident, said. “This major new injection of capital funding into three organizations on the Snug Harbor campus will make sure that this cultural jewel continues to shine.”Laurie Cumbo Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023

Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo visits the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden to announce new funding Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. (Courtesy: Department of Cultural Affairs)

The funding announced Thursday passed in June as part of the city’s 2024 fiscal year budget, and is the latest allocations for two of the projects.

So far, the city has invested a total $1.3 million for the Maritime Collection’s upgraded chillers and air conditioning units, and a total $9.8 million Staten Island Museum’s STEAM project, which will see the vacant Building B into an education center, additional public space for exhibitions, lab classrooms and a café.

The project at the Staten Island Museum will also include exterior restoration of the building, including brick replacement, repointing and restoration of areaways and windows.

Snug Harbor’s investment will help upgrade the building management system and other infrastructure to improve the security, energy efficiency, and visitor experience across the campus, according to a media release from the Department of Cultural Affairs.

Cumbo’s Thursday visit to Snug Harbor also served as an opportunity to tout city investments in other institutions, like the Staten Island Zoo, St. George Theater and Historic Richmondtown.
Borough President Vito Fossella thanked the city for their investments and pointed to his “Stay on Staten Island” campaign he announced earlier this year at his “State of the Borough.” The campaign urges Staten Islanders to spend their dollars locally and take advantage of borough-based institutions.

“They [cultural institutions] are woven into the fabric of our community for the invaluable opportunities they provide Staten Island families to experience art, science, and history in their own backyard,” he said. “We are thankful that the mayor and Commissioner Cumbo have provided such welcome support for our cultural institutions so that they can continue to do what they do so well – providing an invaluable experience for Staten Islanders.”