Hoffman Center’s mission is to preserve & protect open space, provide habitat to indigenous plants and wildlife. Restore and maintain historic buildings.
Historic Photos from 1918
Hoffman Center Background
Hoffman Center is a not-for-profit corporation and private operating foundation established in 1996 to purchase a 155-acre parcel and operate it as a nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary.
The foundation’s motivation for acquiring the site was to preserve one of the area’s largest pieces of open space, as well as its many historically significant buildings, and to establish a lasting tribute to Marion O. and Maximilian E. Hoffman.
At the time of the site’s purchase, the former owner’s subdivision plans to build 57 homes were abandoned by Hoffman Center in an effort to conserve the land as a nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary. Nature trails of approximately 5 miles were then created throughout the estate’s thickly overgrown property. The goal from the onset was for the site to serve as a Center for environmental education for visitors and to foster native flora and fauna.
The site boasts open meadows, secondary oak-brush, tall mixed deciduous forest, restored indigenous grasslands, vernal and man-made ponds, and is a haven to at least 49 species of butterflies, 149 resident and migrating birds, and more than 150 native plant species. The Center is particularly proud of its reintroduction of native animal and plant species once thought lost to the area, including bluebirds, fledged from bluebird boxes, and Pink Lady Slipper Orchids, a rare and protected species of flower.
After acquiring the site, the Center immediately established a partnership with the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary for their capable staff of naturalists to conduct a Wildlife Inventory and Management Plan, an Aviary Survey, Mammal and Vegetation Surveys, Habitat Mapping, and habitat management. The Center hosts guided Nature Tours twice monthly, and has held lecture series’ in conjunction with the New York State Planting Fields Arboretum.
Since 1996, the Directors of Hoffman Center have devoted themselves to painstakingly restoring every detail of the site’s seriously deteriorated 48-room “Gold Coast” era mansion.
Restoration also continues on the site’s Alfred E. Hopkins-designed Carriage House and Farm Estate Group that includes a cow barn, dairy production barn, two cottages, and a beautiful Lord and Burnham greenhouse.