Property lease may help preserve Marie Zimmermann's legacy

NPS is set to lease historic property to a private concern that could include a bed-and-breakfast or event venue


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  • Bill Kiger, treasurer, and Max Brinson, president of the board of the non-profit group Friends of Marie Zimmerman at the open house (Photo by Linda Fields)



“I think it was the best turn-out we ever had. More than one-third of the people there indicated they’ve never been in the house before, and a lot of them were local.”
Max Brinson, Friends of Marie Zimmermann


By Linda Fields

— The open house on July 7 at the Marie Zimmermann farm in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area was well-attended, but the future of the house and property as a place for the public to learn about the famous artist remains uncertain. There is new reason to be optimistic however.

The National Park Service is set to lease the property to a private concern that could include a bed-and-breakfast or an event venue.

“We don’t know what kind of commercial endeavor they have," said Max Brinson, president of the board of the non-profit group, Friends of Marie Zimmermann. "But since this is public land and public property, we hope the public will be able to visit the house on a yearly basis.”

That just became more of a possibility. Brinson told The Courier that Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area acting superintendent Tom Ross wants to meet with the group in August to work out something with the lease-holder to allow the public in. Ross and his family were among the estimated 150 people who attended Saturday’s open house.

“I think it was the best turn-out we ever had,” said Brinson. “More than one-third of the people there indicated they’ve never been in the house before, and a lot of them were local.”

Brinson said there has been an open house at the Zimmermann farm annually since 2010, with the exception of last year when the Park Service worked on installing a handicap ramp.

Marie Zimmermann carved wood, painted and sculpted but is best known for her work with a variety of metals and for her jewelry. Her pieces are on display in numerous museums around the country including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Federal grants, Park Service money and funds raised by Friends of Marie Zimmermann helped pay for the two-million dollar restoration of the house and property. Said Brinson, “We are committed to the legacy of Marie Zimmermann and her art, her life and what she represented. We’re going to continue to work in some capacity towards that goal.”

Related story"Doing a deep dive at the Zimmermann farm": https://bit.ly/2zwkueI





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