For 161 years, Kiehl's Since 1851 has been helping its customers nurture their most basic foundations - their skin and hair.
But at the grand opening of its first Long Island store in Roosevelt Field Mall Friday, the company showed its support for preserving the beauty of an actual building - one of Garden City's oldest and most debated landmarks.
Kiehl's presented a check for $10,000 to the Committee to Save which has been working since 2006 to find a "reasonable and affordable" alternative to demolishing the historic school building.
"Kiehl's and St. Paul's have something in common," Garden City Village Mayor Donald Brudie told those gathered at the April 13 ribbon-cutting. Gesturing to an old photo on the new store's back wall, he explained how Kiehl's flagship location in Manhattan's East Village opened in 1851 - 28 years before St. Paul's was erected - and still exists today. "That is history being preserved and we are trying he preserve St. Paul's," he added.
Brudie was joined by Garden City Deputy Mayor John Watras, Trustee Andrew Cavanaugh and Maureen Traxler, administrative and communications director of the Committee to Save St. Paul’s. They accepted an over-sized check from Chris Salgardo, president of Kiehl's USA.
"We've always been a company who believes that when we open a store in a community, we have to find a way to give back to the community," Salgardo told Patch. After researching local projects in Garden City he said the efforts to preserve St. Paul's "made such good sense."
He went on to say, "Being a company that's been around for 161 years, we certainly understand the importance of preservation and restoration, so we thought this was a great project, the community was supporting it and we wanted to support it as well."
The grand opening party also featured a LEGO-building station for kids and design-your-own cupcake courtesy of The Cupcake Corner. Renowned LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya also lent his talent, building a replica of the St. Paul's clock tower out of the toy building bricks. The clock tower had been damaged last summer by Hurricane Irene but after much debate, was repaired in March, at no cost to the village, thanks to the donations of some generous residents.
For information on the saga of St. Paul's visit Patch's topic page: http://gardencity.patch.com/topics/st-pauls-21c51236
If you want to learn more about Kiehl's products, pay a visit to the store located on the second floor the mall. They'll be offering samples all week long.
Watch the video report above and scroll through our photo gallery for coverage of the grand opening event.