Jay Heritage Center

The Jay Heritage Center (JHC) is an educational nonprofit and the steward of the Jay Estate in Rye, New York, a 23-acre National Historic Landmark site and public park. The property was once the home of Founding Father, jurist, governor, antislavery advocate, and peacemaker John Jay; today JHC is a home for ideas and civil dialogue and action, and hosts a vibrant slate of programs in history, social justice, environmental stewardship, architecture, and preservation. Historic structures on the property include the 1838 Greek Revival Jay Mansion; the 1907 Van Norden Carriage House and Zebra Barn; the 1916 Palmer Indoor Tennis House; and the foundation of a 19th-century building based on a design by renowned architect Alexander Jackson Davis. This past year, JHC installed an ambitious million-dollar garden project, designed by the firm of Nelson Byrd Woltz, that underscores the cultural history of the site at a time when discussions of the relationship of race and land as well as public access to fresh air and green space are long overdue. A central goal of JHC’s preservation mission is to illuminate the lives of all the estate’s varied inhabitants, including enslaved and freed women and men known to have lived, worked, and been buried at the property. Recent topics and speakers at JHC have included social-justice advocates including Michael W. Twitty, Brent Leggs, Elizabeth Hinton, and Gretchen Sorin on race in America; renowned environmental commentators like Elizabeth Kolbert, Andrew Revkin, Eric Sanderson, Doug Tallamy, and Tatiana Schlossberg on climate change; and Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning authors including Samantha Power on U.S. diplomacy, Thomas E. Ricks on the Founders and the classics, and George Packer on America’s fraying social contract.


Rye, NY

Internship Description

Each summer JHC offers exceptional students interested in history, environmental stewardship, architecture, social justice, and preservation the opportunity to study and work at the Jay Estate as part of its Jay Fellows Program. Fellows acquire hands-on experience working on projects at the Jay Heritage Center, under the direction of the board and staff JHC and other leading professionals in their fields. Recent projects in preservation have included historical and archival research on the property’s structures, as well as the creation of 3D point clouds that were later used in the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation’s (GSAPP) Advanced Preservation and Architecture Studio.

Potential projects in environmental stewardship could include the digital mapping of invasive species on the 23-acre JHC campus, as well as helping to create a template for other parks to use to help prevent monocultures from developing at their own sites.

Potential projects in history might include research the into the lives of enslaved people who lived and worked at the Jay Estate, including possible archaeological investigations into a structure that may have been a former slave dwelling. In addition, fellows have complimentary access to all JHC’s public programs, as well as numerous opportunities for cross-disciplinary learning in a variety of fields.

# of weeks

Required Dates

Start Time

End Time

Public Transit

Housing Provided 


10 Flexible 10:00am  4:00pm No No Hybrid

Housing Information

While there is no housing available for interns, site is within commuting distance of NYC.

Internship Qualifications

  • Interest and/or background in History, Environmental Studies, Social Justice, Law, Architecture, Preservation.

Writing Sample Requirement

  • One-page writing sample.

Special Requirements

  • Vaccinations