She can be found leading tours about the Revolutionary War, corralling costumed children during the Halloween Parade, or throwing together a last-minute event — but no matter where this Woman of Distinction may be, Kim Maier is a cherished fixture in Park Slope.
As the executive director of The Old Stone House, Maier has been key in transforming the reconstructed Vechte-Courtelyou House into a space where Brooklynites and out-of-towners alike can learn about the community’s role in the Battle of Brooklyn during the Revolutionary War. She still remembers receiving a call 14 years ago from administrators asking her to help drive its educational programming, a role which then blossomed into her position as head of the house.
“It was a great opportunity for me to work here in the neighborhood and to be part of a project that would really help highlight Brooklyn’s long and interesting history,” she said.
Since then, she has helped revamp the house into a museum commemorating the historic battle, community meeting space, and event space. It hosts hundreds of events each year, along with its permanent exhibition opened in August 2016 exploring the Revolution in Brooklyn. Maier aimed to create a place for people to come and talk with one another face-to-face, an unlikely means of interaction in the digital age.
“It’s a very thriving public space in a time where a lot of people are disengaged from their neighbors,” she said.
Maier — a Park Slope resident for 35 years — is also a trustee on the Park Slope Civic Council, serving as the chair of the annual Halloween Parade, a beloved neighborhood tradition in which costume-clad residents march down Seventh Avenue. Once again, this Woman of Distinction won’t stop working to unite her neighbors.
“I love the Halloween Parade,” she said. “It’s part and parcel of a larger perspective of what it means to live in the community and to be kind of engaged in bringing people together so they have a sense of where they live and who their neighbors are.”
It’s these same neighbors who heap praise unto Maier and are forever appreciative of the lasting contributions she has made to the community.
“Kim is a person anybody would want to have on their team,” said Joe Rydell, the vice president of the Park Slope Civic Council. “She’s very down to earth, lovely, and just a relatable person.” Maier is also known for her can-do attitude, approaching tasks such as fund-raisers, vigils, or clothing drives with a determination to get them done, no matter the time frame.
“If there’s anything I would say, it’s that ‘Sure, let’s make it happen’ is one of her mottos,” said Susan Fox, the founder of community group Park Slope Parents. “She’s no muss, no fuss.”
NEIGHBORHOOD: Park Slope.
COMPANY: Old Stone House.
CLAIM TO FAME: Head of Old Stone House.
FAVORITE BROOKLYN PLACE: There are so many! I love the gardens at the Old Stone House, Valentino Pier in Red Hook, the Brooklyn Museum, the view from Battle Hill in Green-Wood Cemetery, the Coney Island Boardwalk, and Brooklyn Bridge Park, just to name a few.
WOMAN I ADMIRE: Jane Jacobs, the urban writer and activist who championed community-based approaches to city planning and believed that diversity and creativity are at the heart of a vibrant city.
MOTTO: What’s next?