Each year, members are invited to tour one of Bronxville’s many historic homes. Houses have included the oldest home in Bronxville, a 1920s Tudor-style home, an 1870 stone mansion, a 1910s Italian Renaissance style home, and other gracious Bronxville estates.
In the mid-1890s, Elizabeth Custer bought her first Bronxville house, 20 Park Avenue, next door to a Michigan hometown friend. The house included two towers, one originally with a crenelated parapet that was said to be reminiscent of Western forts where the Custers had lived. In 1902 the Widow Custer built a second home at 6 Chestnut, only a few hundred feet from her Park Avenue house. This larger sixteen-room home was said to have been built to enable her to entertain more easily.
2014 | 5 Oakledge Road
Five Oakledge is a magnificent house which was originally built in 1870. The original stone mansion was redesigned by Lewis Bowman in 1925, and was sometimes referred to as the “Red Cross House” due to its role during the late 1930’s and World War II as the local Red Cross Headquarters.. This spectacular Bronxville house recently underwent a significant restoration and redesign under the direction of interior designer Steven Gambrel. We are grateful to Mr. and Mrs. John Lykouretzos for opening their home to our members.
2012 | Hilltop Artists
As a tribute to the village’s artists, we presented for inspection the historic studios of Will and Mary Low (25 Prescott Avenue), Lorenzo Hatch (6 Lookout Avenue), and Hermann Schladermundt (8 Park Avenue). These studios have retained their large north-facing windows, while affording contemporary families the luxury of grand and comfortable indoor spaces. The Lawrence Park artist colony is long gone and its denizens largely forgotten. As part of its mission, The Conservancy continues to honor its creative residents of bygone days by collecting and exhibiting their artwork in Village Hall and the Library.
2011 | 22 Elm Rock Road
The original structure at 22 Elm Rock Road strongly echoes the classic Greek Revival lines of Alexander Masterton’s nearby Ridgecroft. This unique mid-nineteenth-century house boasts twentieth-century additions by Lewis Bowman and is set on one of the largest parcels of residential land in the village. Surrounded by old-growth trees and beautiful gardens, it is situated well back from the road that was carved through the woods by Masterton over 165 years ago. This well loved home provided comfortable living for its earliest recorded residents, the DeWitts, who arrived in 1855 and whose family owned extensive land in and around Bronxville. If walls could talk, one might hear stories of the California Gold Rush, Victorian poetry or the ever-unfolding history of today’s owners who are celebrating their family’s fiftieth year in this special place.
2009 | Ridgecroft
For nearly 175 years, the stately home of Alexander Masterton stood as a welcoming destination for family and friends on the New York – White Plains post road. It continued that treasured tradition on Sunday, November 9th, as more than 150 members of the Bronxville Historical Conservancy visited the registered historic landmark built in 1835 by one of Bronxville’s earliest residents, Alexander Masterton.
A warm October sun and cool autumn breeze provided a perfect complement to the Conservancy’s 10th annual house tour held on Sunday, October 26th. This year’s unique tour offered a double treat — a visit to the home of Marianne and Steven Mills on 16 Prescott Avenue and a self-guided tour of the Bronxville Women’s Club, celebrating the 80th anniversary of its clubhouse on Midland Avenue where the reception and BHC Annual Meeting were also held.
2007 | A Romantic Mediterranean
A romantic Mediterranean designed by Lewis Bowman in 1926, the house was purchased by the owners, the Cox family in 2001. Previous owners included William J. Morden (explorer, naturalist and big-game hunter) for whom the house was built, Russell McCandless, and Dr. George Lasky.
2006 | A Treasure from the 20s
The robust design of 42 Masterton Road, built by architect George H. Pohle in 1927, incorporates a turret, exposed beams, high ceilings and leaded glass windows. The tour proved to be a mini-education in the distinguishing hallmarks that constitute Art Déco, the style that dominated the 1920s and ’30s in both Europe and the United States. The French interpretation of Art Déco is more luxurious and less streamlined, than American examples, such as the familiar Radio City Music Hall. At 42 Masterton, designs by Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, Paule Leleu and Jacques Adnet, among others, are carefully placed in an environment of rich colors — chocolate brown, claret red, inky blue — and innovative wall treatments — suede, Venetian plaster, accents of gold leaf. The result is an atmosphere of both elegance and comfort.
2005 | A Bowman Beauty
At one of the busiest intersections in the village, Pondfield and White Plains Roads, the implausible sight of what appears to be a centuries-old Cotswold cottage emerges above high garden walls. The mellow stone gables and rosy red terra cotta roofs provoke many a passerby to attempt a better glimpse through the iron gates. This enchanting anomaly was once the studio, and sometime home, of architect Lewis Bowman.
Not just one but two grand houses and two of Bronxville’s most noted architects were highlighted in the fall house tour of 2004. The splendid stone neo-Tudor house at 935 Kimball Road built by Lewis Bowman in 1924 – better known today as the home of the president of Sarah Lawrence College – was first on the tour. Members then crossed the street to visit “Westlands,” the former home of William Van Duzer and Sarah Lawrence. The brick and timber home designed by William Bates and Kenneth How in 1917 today serves as the administrative building of the college.
2003 | An Italianate Villa
Equally splendid in a far different way is the home of Roland and Karen Morris on Ridge Road in Bronxville, whose home was the site of the Bronxville house tour in 2004. In 1912 the local newspaper boasted of its beauty: “The Ridge property on Sagamore is rapidly filling up with well-built houses, perhaps the handsomest of which is the residence of Mr. L. D. Garrett on Ridge Road, a long structure of Italian Renaissance type which crowns the high ridge overlooking the valley to the east.
The fall of 2002 brought a unique opportunity for Conservancy members who were invited to board the sleek cruiser “Seastreak” and head up the Hudson River for an afternoon at enchanting “Edgewater,” the historic home of passionate preservationist, Dick Jenrette, who loves, adores, buys and restores old houses! “Edgewater” is one of his six remarkable homes featured in Jenrette’s book, Adventures with Old Houses, a splendid volume that tells the story of the restoration of his many homes and the acquisition of their period furnishings.
2001 | The Oakledge Mansion
Behind 18” thick walls draped in ivy lies another exquisite Bronxville home whose recent renovation restored the grandeur of its golden age. Members of the Conservancy strolled through its chambers in awe of the commitment that owners Laura and Brooks Klimley have made to this magnficent mansion, a home that has had a colorful history in Bronxville, including serving as the Red Cross headquarters during World War II.
2000 | The Ernest Quantrell House
In the fall of 2000, members were invited to Richard and Mary Thaler’s early 20th century home, the “Ernest Quantrell” house. Some said the log cabin room was their favorite. Others lingered in the secret prohibition cellar. But all who attended were delighted to visit this historic Sagamore Park home.
1999 | Abijah Morgan House
In the organization’s inaugural year, more than 100 villagers strolled through the historic Abijah Morgan House, the oldest in Bronxville. Now owned by the Petrovich family, the Abijah Morgan house is undergoing a thorough restoration in “old world” style, keeping its historical integrity intact.