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2018/ Join us to tour the “Owl House”

Sunday, November 4, 2018 from 12:00 am

One of the largest and most well-known houses in Lawrence Park is the “Owl House,” so named because of the figure of a large owl resting on its central gable. Although most contemporaries identify the house with Brendan Gill, architectural critic of The New Yorker, who lived there with his family for almost 40 years, it was, in fact, built for an early resident-artist, William T. Smedley. Smedley was considered by many of his contemporaries to be Lawrence Park’s most successful artist, both in public recognition of his work and in financial terms. Known as a portrait artist for the upper-class of New York City, he was also a leading illustrator, building his reputation on society sketches that appeared in popular magazines such as Harpers and Scribners.

Smedley’s house, 26 Prescott Avenue, a Victorian Tudor mansion originally called “Oakridge Cottage,” was designed in 1896 by William W. Kent, also a resident of the Park. Building the house of stone, stucco, and wood, Kent made interesting use of the half-acre of rocky terrain on which the house sits. Of the 22 rooms, 18 face south, making them sunny in winter and shady in summer. The exterior is noted for a number of special touches such as leaded windows with bottle glass and carved stucco medallions. A substantial porte-cochere protects the front entry, but the most significant features of the façade are the two gables, in particular the largest with the owl finial, and the windows of the art studios. Although the house had an original art studio, soon after Smedley moved into the house he added a second 25-by-60- foot studio that rises two stories and has a small musicians’ gallery that looks down from the second floor. It was said that Smedley built his studio less than a foot from the property line in a pique over inventor Ward Leonard’s addition of a garage inches from Smedley’s lot. After the Gill family moved into the house in 1946, the artist studio was converted to a theater/gym for the energetic and talented Gill family and their friends.


FRAMED at Siwanoy Country Club

Saturday, October 20, 2018 from 6:30 pm

The Bronxville Historical Conservancy cordially invites you to join us for our 20th Anniversary Gala, FRAMED!

An artful evening of murder, mystery & mayhem for members to celebrate our 20th anniversary!

Our members-only celebration is a highly entertaining, interactive, murder/mystery performance, expertly woven through cocktails and a sit-down dinner.

Collect the clues and interview suspects, as you try to solve a baffling Bronxville based crime, and bring the culprit to justice!

In addition, on this very special evening, the BHC will proudly present a 20th anniversary gift to the community in keeping with the year’s theme of art.

This is a uniquely intriguing experience not to be missed!

Saturday, October 20th, 2018
6:30 – 7:45 Cocktails
8:00 Dinner is served
It is very important that guests arrive no later than 7:00 PM.
Cocktail Attire

BHC current members will be offered priority ticket sales on September 20th. Tickets will become available to the community at large on September 23rd.

160 seats will be available. Please act quickly to avoid disappointment. If you are not already a member, or your membership has lapsed, please join the BHC in order to attend the event. Membership renewed or established now will extend 15 months, through December 31, 2019. If you have a question regarding the status of your membership, please contact Nancy Blum at

Ticket Prices
Each household purchasing tickets totaling $500 or more is entitled to be the Conservancy’s guest at a special pre-lecture dinner with The Brendan Gill speaker, this Spring.

    Suspicious Sleuth
    $150 per person

    Dogged Detective
    $250 per person
    (includes family membership)

    20th Anniversary Alibi
    $500 per person.
    (includes family membership)

Buy Tickets

If you would prefer to pay by check, print out mail-in form

Tables of eight will work as a team to solve the mystery. If you would like to sleuth with friends, please email Judy Foley with your seating preferences by October 15th at

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of the Four, ch. 6 (1890)

The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.
Francis Bacon (1909)

Book Reading with Rhoda Knight Kalt

Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

To register for the Book Reading event with Rhoda Knight Kalt for children grade K-4 (accompanied, please, by an adult) at Bronxville Public Library, send an email to and include your NAME and NUMBER ATTENDING.


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