A Guide to Bronxville’s Natural Landscape
ongoing and available 2015
This project is underway and will be available in book form and online for civic and residential use in Spring 2013. The study entails mapping the topography, slopes, drainage and vegetation of the Village and thereby defining the landscape of Bronxville. The goal is to understand what exists currently so that strategies can be developed to preserve, conserve and enhance our landscape environment in the future.
Exterior Globe for the historic Women’s Club of Bronxville
The south entrance to the Women’s Club of Bronxville, where many a young man and miss have trotted inside for their dancing and etiquette lessons with Miss Covington, (now Miss Barkley), is graced once again with a beautiful globe in its curved archway. The Bronxville Historical Conservancy financed the restoration of the original fixture as an 80th anniversary gift to the clubhouse and in recognition of its placement on the National Register of Historic Places. “I don’t think any of us knew the real beauty of the fixture,” noted Joyce Balint, president of the Club. Star cut-outs on the ironwork embracing the frosted globe give a magical twinkle to the lady in her eighties.
Bronxville Veterans Memorial
In recent years, the Bronxville Historical Conservancy has funded a special exhibit at the Bronxville Women’s Club created to bring the true spirit of Memorial Day to Bronxville. The Bronxville Veterans Memorial features a Scroll of Honor — a list of over 1,400 men and women from the area who have served their county. It also includes personal and civic memorabilia from Bronxville veterans and residents, a gallery of photos and stories of MIA/KIA servicemen representing Bronxville, Tuckahoe, and Eastchester, and an original painting by local artist William Q. Dowling commemorating the role of our community.
If you are a current Bronxville resident or have lived in Bronxville in the past and would like your name added to the Veteran’s Scroll, or should you like to contribute pictures or personal memorabilia from your service abroad or on the home front, please contact Jane Staunton at jstaunton [at] optonline.net.
When Bronxville resident Renee Byers learned that graceful wrought-iron lamps once spanned the granite columns at the two main entrances to Avon Road, her thoughts turned toward re-creating history. With help from the Village Historian Eloise Morgan, Renee found the originals in bits and pieces in a cob-webbed corner of the Village Hall basement. Turning to the Bronxville Historical Conservancy for funding the effort, along with support from the Village of Bronxville, Renee embarked on the ambitious project of creating near-exact replicas, and on January 21, 2003, the lanterns were back in place, once again gracing the stately granite columns on Avon Road where it intersects with Midland Avenue and Sagamore Road.
Re-constructed by Jozef Witcowski of Jozef Custom Ironworks of Bridgeport, Connecticut, the approximately 18″ high and have an antique bronze finish. With electrical connections and 3 candelabra bulbs, the fixtures will shine nightly, in concert with the village street lamps. The Bronxville Historical Conservancy fully funded the fixtures’ re-creation, installation and electrical work at a cost of approximately $50,000.
Sound System for Traditional Village Christmas Pageant
When lack of a sound system gave a whole new meaning to “Silent Night,” the Conservancy researched a way to help the community with its nearly 100 year old holiday tradition. It purchased a new audio system for use not only by the Pageant, but for other civic organizations and events, such as Memorial Day. The Conservancy also created a booklet documenting the history of the Pageant.
Restoration of Architectural Model of Bronxville Library
Thanks to the granddaughter of architect Harry Leslie Walker, a scale model of the Bronxville Public Library dating from the time of its original design has been donated to the library.
Given by Elizabeth Mouzon, Walker’s daughter, the model bears the title “Study for Public Library Building, Bronxville, New York” and is signed “Harry Leslie Walker Architect.”
After 60 years the model was in surprisingly good condition, but needed restoration which the Conservancy funded so that the model could be showcased in the Bronxville library as a reminder of its origins.
Support for the Bronxville History Center
The Conservancy has provided a variety of support to the Bronxville History Center and the work of the village historian. Among these were funds to equip the History Center, located in the lower levels of the Bronxville Public Library, with a state-0f-the-art computer and copier/printer/fax/scanner, with wireless Internet connections. In addition, the Conservancy helped fund the digitization of more than a century of historic Bronxville-area newspapers that are being posted online at Hudson River Valley Heritage Historical Newspapers. The Conservancy also underwrote the creation of two photograph collections of modern Bronxville: a beautiful portfolio of professional color photographs of modern Bronxville, in print and digital form, by Judith Watts Wilson, and a series of black and white streetscape images by photographer Fielding Bowman Other gifts include the reframing of a painting for the turn-of-the-20th century artist Anna Winegar.
Artwork for the Community
Perhaps no one better predicted and captured the importance of the artistic legacy that has now been established for the village than well known Lawrence Park artist Will Hicok Low who commented a century ago:
Who knows what the future holds in store for this village?
The “Bronxville school”[of artists] may yet have its exhibition hall, and excursion trains be run on the Harlem to view their works. Meanwhile, [the artists] may be counted among the most enthusiastic residents of Bronxville … generally [having] conducted themselves as good citizens, while their fame, which is widespread, constitutes a valuable asset for the village.
To celebrate that legacy, and honor and remember Bronxville’s well-known Lawrence Park art colony, the Conservancy is acquiring representative examples of the artists’ works. Whether the art was created while the artist lived in Bronxville, depicting local scenes, or is simply illustrative of the artist’s craft, this growing collection is part of an on-going research effort by the Conservancy’s Art Committee.
Bronxville Artists & Friends
As a tenth anniversary gift to the community, an art catalog was created to accompany the Bronxville Artists & Friends: Legacies Past and Future exhibit held in the fall of 2008 at the OSilas Gallery at Concordia College. It is one of the most comprehensive publications ever on the works of Bronxville artists.