Irvington, New York facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Irvington, New York
Location of Irvington, New York
|• Total||4.0 sq mi (10.5 km2)|
|• Land||2.8 sq mi (7.2 km2)|
|• Water||1.2 sq mi (3.2 km2)|
|• Density||1,605/sq mi (611/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0953803|
Irvington, sometimes known as Irvington-on-Hudson, is an affluent suburban village in the town of Greenburgh in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is located on the eastern bank of the Hudson River, 20 miles (32 km) north of midtown Manhattan in New York City, and is served by a station stop on the Metro-North Hudson Line. To the north of Irvington is the village of Tarrytown, to the south the village of Dobbs Ferry, and to the east unincorporated parts of Greenburgh, including East Irvington. Irvington includes within its boundaries the community of Ardsley-on-Hudson, which has its own ZIP code and Metro-North station, but which should not be confused with the nearby village of Ardsley, New York.
The population of Irvington at the 2010 census was 6,420. Because many of Irvington's residents – especially those in the upper income brackets – live in Irvington and work in New York City, the village has a reputation as a "commuter town" or a "bedroom community".
The village's Main Street area has been designated an historic district by New York State and on January 15, 2014 was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2010, Westchester Magazine ranked Irvington as the "Best Place to Live in Westchester".
Before the area where Irvington is now located was settled by Europeans, it was inhabited by the Wickquasgeck Indians, a band of the Wappingers, related to the Lenape (Delaware) tribes which dominated lower New York state and New Jersey. The Wickquasgeck still lived in the area as late as 1775.
After the Dutch came to the area, the land was part of the Bisightick tract of the Van der Donck grant, which was purchsed by Frederick Philipse in 1682, after the British had taken over the area in 1664. At first it was settled by tenant farmers, and but by the 1700s, most of the settlers were artisans. The King's Highway, which connected New York City with Albany, was built through the settlement by the 1720s, which created a need for inns and taverns. In 1785, the state of New York confiscated the Phillipse's land from his grandson, Frederick Philipse III, after he sided with the British in the American Revolution, and sold it to local patriot farmers who had been tenants of the Phillipse family. This is presumably how part of it came to be the farm of William Dutcher. Dutcher sold half of his farm to Justus Dearman in 1817, who then sold it to Gustavo F. Sacchi in 1848 for $26,000. Sacchi sold the parcel to John Jay – the grandson of the American Founding Father by the same name – that same year, and Jay laid it out as a village which he called "Dearman", after Justus Dearman, and sold lots at auction in New York City starting on April 25, 1850.
The organization of the streets into a right-angled grid pattern was criticized by Andrew Jackson Downing, who was at the time the foremost expert on landscape design. Downing condemned the use of the street grid outside of cities and saw the hilly and heavily wooded site of Dearman as particularly suited to his own theories, which called for curvilinear roads and irregular lots which followed the contours of the land. With the frequent steamboat, stagecoach, and train transportation available, he felt that Dearman could have been an ideal suburb, instead of "mere rows of houses upon streets crossing each other at right angles and bordered with shade trees".
The side streets off the village's Main Street – or "Main Avenue", as an 1868 map has it – were originally designated "A", "B", "C", and so forth, but are today named after many of the area's early settlers, such as Barent and William Dutcher, Captain John Buckhout (who lived to 103) and Wolfert Ecker (or "Acker").
Wolfert Ecker's house, then owned by Jacob van Tassel, was burned by the British in the Revolutionary War because it had become a notorious hang-out for American patriots. Washington Irving later wrote about it under the name of "Wolfert's Roost" ("roost" meaning "rest"), and purchased and re-modeled another house on the land to become "Sunnyside". Another early settler was Capt. Jan Harnse, and the Harnse-Conklin-Odell Tavern on Broadway was built in 1693 and became an inn in 1743. (See below) It was at Odell's Tavern that the Committee of Safety, the executive committee of the legislature of the new State of New York, officially received the news that George Washington had lost the Battle of Long Island, and, later, British troops camped nearby, putting Jonathan Odell into custody in the Old Dutch Church in Tarrytown. No major battles of the Revolutionary War were fought in the area, only minor skirmishes between residents and soldiers.
With the capture of New York City by the British, Irvington and the rest of southern Westchester County became the "Neutral ground", an unofficial 30-mile (48 km) wide zone separating British-occupied territory from that held by the Americans, and the people of the area who remained – many of the Patriot population had fled – traded with both sides to great profit. However, there was also a great deal of pillaging and plundering, even of Tory households, both by the regular British army and loyalist militias and irregulars, all in the name of hunting down rebels. By the time the war was over, the countryside had been ravaged:
The country is rich and fertile, and the farms appear to have been advantageously cultivated, but it now has the marks of a country in ruins, a large portion of the proprietors having abandoned their homes. On the high road where heretofore was a continuous stream of travelers and vehicles, not a single traveler was seen from week to week, month to month. The countryside was silent. The very tracks of the carriages were grown over with grass or weeds. Travelers walked along bypaths. The villages are abandoned, the residents having fled to the north, leaving their homes, where possible, in charge of elder persons and servants.
Eventually, the area recovered and continued to develop. The Hudson River Railroad reached the settlement on September 29, 1849; the first passengers on a regularly scheduled run through the village paid fifty cents to travel from Peekskill to Chambers Street in Manhattan on September 29, 1849. By 1853, a ferry ran across the Hudson from Dearman to Piermont on the west bank, the village had a population of around 600, a hotel, six stores, a lumber yard and around 50 houses, and the hamlet of "Abbotsford" – which would later become Ardsley-on-Hudson – was forming along Clinton Avenue.
A change of name
In 1854 the Dearman and Abbotsford combined, and by popular vite adopted the common name "Irvington", to honor the American author Washington Irving, who was still alive at that time and living in nearby "Sunnyside" – which is today preserved as a museum. Influential residents of the village prevailed upon the Hudson River Railroad, which had reached the village by 1849, to change the name of the train station to "Irvington", and also convinced the Postmaster to change the name of the local post office as well. It was thus under the name of "Irvington" that the village incorporated on April 16, 1872.
By the census of 1860, the population of the village was 599. A few years later, in 1863, Irvington was touched by the New York Draft Riots. Fearing that the violence in the city, which had to be put down by Federal troops, would spread to Westchester, special police were brought in and quartered in a schoolhouse on Sunnyside Lane. They were commanded by James Hamilton – the third son of Alexander Hamilton – whose estate, Nevis, was on South Broadway. The presence of this special force deterred any violence a group of draft protestors which passed through Greenburgh on their way to Tarrytown may have intended. This was the only instance in which Civil War-related activity directly affected Irvington.
With convenient rail transportation now available, the village's cool summer breezes off the Hudson and the rural riparian setting began to attract wealthy residents of New York City – businessmen, politicians and professionals – to the area to buy up farms and build large summer residences on their new estates, setting a pattern which would hold until the early 20th century. Still, the village continued to expand, with various commercial enterprises opening along the waterfront. Pateman & Lockwood, a lumber, coal and building supply company, opened in the village in 1853, and Lord & Burnham, which built boilers and greenhouses, in 1856. Both expanded to newly created land across the railroad tracks, in 1889 and 1912 respectively, and the Cypress Lumber Company opened on a nearby site in 1909. Nothwithstanding this commercial activity, for many years, through the 19th and early 20th centuries, Irvington was a relatively small community surrounded by numerous large estates and mansions where millionaires, aristocrats and captains of industry lived – the population was reported as 2,299 in 1890 and 2,013 in 1898. After World War I, some of the bigger estates in the area were broken up into smaller lots. Many of the estates and mansions are now gone, having been replaced by suburban sub-divisions, although a small number still exist. After World War II, cooperative apartment complexes were built in the village, but despite these changes, Irvington still has many large houses, and is still an overwhelmingly well-heeled community.
- See also: #2005 mayoral election
In June 2016, Irvington Fire Chief Christopher D. DePaoli was one of 23 recipients of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission medal for heroism. In April 2015, DePaoli stepped in when he saw a woman being attacked by a man with a knife at the Irvington Metro-North Station. The woman survived the attack.
The village has a total area of 4.0 square miles (10 km2), of which 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) or about 1,850 acres (750 ha) is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2), or 30.94%, is water.
The village's main thoroughfare is Broadway (Route 9) originally an Indian footpath which gradually became a horse track and then a dirt road. It came to be called the "King's Highway" around the time that it reached Albany. Later, it was called the "Queen's Highway", after Queen Anne, the "Highland Turnpike" after 1800 – a name still preserved in the nearby town of Ossining – the "Albany Post Road" and, after 1850, "Broadway". The stretch that runs through Irvington was completed by 1723. During his tenure as Postmaster General, Benjamin Franklin had 3-foot-high (0.91 m) sandstone milestone markers placed along the Broadway, inscribed with the distance from New York City. Milestone #27 is still in place in Irvington, near the driveway to 30 South Broadway.
Broadway runs north-south parallel to the river, and connects Irvington to Dobbs Ferry in the south and Tarrytown in the north. All of the village's major streets, including Main Street, extend east and west from Broadway, and are designated as such. Broadway is designated "North Broadway" above Main Street, and "South Broadway" below it. Main Street begins at the Metro-North train station, just off the Hudson River, and travels uphill to Broadway. Side streets off of Main, which were originally designated A Street, B Street, C Street, etc. when the village grid was laid out, now have names, most of which come from local history: Astor, Buckhout, Cottenet, Dutcher, Ecker, Ferris and Grinnell.
The southbound Saw Mill River Parkway can be reached via Harriman Road/Cyrus Field Road, past the village reservoir, or East Sunnyside Lane/Mountain Road through East Irvington. The northbound Saw Mill and the New York State Thruway are accessible via Ardsley, and the Tappan Zee Bridge is nearby in Tarrytown.
Commuter train service to New York City is available at the Irvington and Ardsley-on-Hudson train stations, served by the Metro-North Railroad of the MTA. Bus service is provided on Broadway by the Westchester County Beeline Bus System via route #1T (The Bronx-Yonkers-Tarrytown) and #1W (The Bronx-Yonkers-White Plains).
As with all river communities in Westchester, Irvington is traversed by a stretch of the old Croton Aqueduct, about 3 miles (4.8 km) long, which is now part of the Old Croton Trailway State Park. The Aqueduct is a National Historic Landmark.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,631 people, 2,518 households, and 1,812 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,377.4 people per square mile (917.7/km²). There were 2,601 housing units at an average density of 932.5 per square mile (359.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 88.66% White, 1.45% African American, 0.11% Native American, 6.95% Asian, 1.16% from other races, and 1.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.79% of the population. 18.1% were of Italian, 17.3% Irish, 7.3% German and 5.9% Russian ancestry according to Census 2000. 88.0% spoke English, 4.2% Japanese, 3.6% Spanish, 1.8% Italian and 1.0% German as their first language.
There were 2,518 households out of which 37.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.2% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.0% were non-families. 24.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the village, the population was spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 3.9% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.5 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $96,467, and the median income for a family was $120,895. Males had a median income of $85,708 versus $50,714 for females. The per capita income for the village was $59,116. About 1.2% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 0.9% of those age 65 or over. The average cost for a one-family house in 2010 was $585,780, below the Westchester County average of $725,000, although in 2009 the median home price was reported to be $790,000. Bloomberg ranked Irvington 54th in its March 2017 profile of "America's 100 Richest Places".
As of 2013, according to the Town of Greenburgh's assessor's office, the village had 1,182 singe-family homes, as well as 103 homes for two families, 12 for three families and an additional 344 multi-families buildings, both co-ops and condos and some rentals. Legend Hollow, the village's one housing development, was constructed in the 1990s and has 69 large houses on lots of a half acre or larger. The Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service reported that the median sale price for a single-family home was $1.080 million, up from $790,000 in 2008. Co-ops went from $223,000 to $263,000 and condos went down from $592,000 to $549,000.
Irvington has four Christian churches. Three of them, the Irvington Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian), the Immaculate Conception Church (Roman Catholic) and The Church of St. Barnabas (Episcopal), are clustered together on Broadway, just north of Main Street. The Calvary Chapel of Westchester (Evangelical) is located in the Trent Building on South Buckhout Street.
The Jewish community of Irvington is served by three nearby synagogues: the traditional/non-denominational Chabad of the Rivertowns, the conservative Greenburgh Hebrew Center in Dobbs Ferry and the dual reform/conservative synagogue Temple Beth Abraham in Tarrytown. Irvington itself features a "chavruah," or member-led Jewish congregation that follows in the conservative tradition, known as Rosh Pinah Chavruah of the Rivertowns.
Irvington is also the location of the Westchester Buddhist Center, whose Executive Director is interior designer Stacy T. Curchak.
Irvington is home to a number of members of the Unification Church, including several high-ranking families. There are several Church-owned estates and buildings located in Irvington and in the neighboring village of Tarrytown. Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the founder and, until his death in 2010, the spiritual leader the Church, had a large private estate of 17.67 acres (7.15 ha), the former Frederic Clark Sayles estate, on East Sunnyside Lane. As of 2012, the estate was still owned by the church, under its legal name "Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity".
Points of interest
- Ardsley-on-Hudson Station House – The station house on the northbound side, which houses the waiting room and the Ardsley-on-Hudson post office, is all that is left of the McKim, Mead & White-designed Tudor style buildings associated with the Ardsley Casino which was located there. The casino, established with the support of Jay Gould, Cornelius Vanderbilt, J. Pierpont Morgan, William Rockefeller, and Amzi Lorenzo Barber, had a golf course, tennis courts, stables, a private dock of the New York Yacht Club, and daily stagecoach service to the Hotel Brunswick on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The casino was torn down in 1936 and was replaced by the Hudson House apartment building, designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, which still stands. The station was used as a location for the 2016 film The Girl on the Train, with the addition of a portico to recreate the feel of the station as it existed in 1890. (110 West Ardsley Avenue)
- Armour-Stiner House (also known as the Carmer Octagon House) (1860) - Built by financier Paul J. Armour according to the ideas of Orson Fowler, the house originally had only two stories and a flat roof. Expanded – adding the dome and the veranda, as well as elaborate deocartions and embellishments – and refurbished by Joseph Stiner in 1872, the Armour-Stiner House is said to be one of the most lavish octagon houses built in the period, and is now one of only perhaps a hundred still extant. The house was later occupied by historian Carl Carmer, who maintained that it was haunted. In 1976, the house was briefly owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to prevent it from being demolished. The Trust was unable to fund the amount of renovation the property required, and sold it to a preservationist architect, Joseph Pell Lombardi, who has conserved the house, interiors, grounds and outbuildings. The house is a National Historic Landmark. (West Clinton Avenue, west of the Old Croton Trail)
- Church of St. Barnabas (1853) - A stone Gothic building listed on the National Register of Historic Places (2000), the cornerstone of St. Barnabas was laid on May 29, 1853. It was originally intended as a chapel and school, and was designed by the Reverend Dr. John McVickar, a professor at Columbia College and the General Theological Seminary and friend of Washington Irving – his son, William McVickar, was the church's first rector. The building was constructed from stone quarried on the former Rutter estate across Broadway, where the "Fieldpoint" development is now located. In the early 1860s the building was enlarged to become a parish church, to plans produced by the firm of Renwick and Sands. (James Renwick, Jr. was the architect who would design the Irvington Presbyterian Church which stands next to St. Barnabas.) The "Lich Gate" entryway dates from circa 1896, and was designed by A. J. Manning, who later designed the Irvington Town Hall. The gate is made of solid oak on a stone foundation, and was a memorial to Mrs. H. B. Worthington. (North Broadway, north of Main Street)
- Irvington Presbyterian Church (1869) - A Romanesque church designed by James Renwick, Jr., who also designed St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York; the stained-glass windows were designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, who had once been an Irvington resident. The cost of construction was $53,0000. (North Broadway, north of Main Street)
- Cosmopolitan Building (1895) - This three-story stone neo-Classical revival building topped by three small domes was designed by Stanford White as the headquarters for Cosmopolitan when the magazine moved from New York to Irvington. John Brisben Walker, who had bought the general interest magazine in 1889, had a mansion in Irvington only a short walk away. In 1897 Walker started a free correspondence school, the Cosmopolitan Educational University Extension. When 20,000 people enrolled, Walker was unable to keep to its offer of a no-cost education for all, and had to ask the students to pay $20 per year. Nevertheless, the venture attracted well-known academics to its staff, and public lectures and other events associated with the school were held in the headquarters building. The magazine also sponsored several automobile races from New York to Irvington to promote the automobile. Cosmopolitan left Irvington shortly after William Randolph Hearst bought the magazine in 1905 and moved it back to New York. Afterwards, the building was used as a silent movie studio for some period of time, but for most of its subsequent history has primarily housed manufacturing concerns of various types, including one that made radio oscillators used by the U.S. Army in World War II, and a company that made looseleaf binders and other paper products. The Cosmopolitan Building still stands, although it is known as the "Trent Building" after the family that owns it, but it is quite run down, and its visage has suffered from the pedestrian brick industrial building which was stuck onto its rear, obscuring the eastern facade. The building houses manufacturers, offices, a video production facility, a publisher of art books, interior design firms, a yoga studio, a chapel, photographers, a spa, a florist and event space and at least one restaurant. (50 South Buckhout Street)
- East Irvington Public School (1898, 1925) - Built in 1891 as a one-story school house for the community of East Irvington, the building was expanded to two stories in 1925, and accommodated all elementary school children in the area. In 1954, because of overcrowding, the village built the Dows Lane Elementary School, although the East Irvington School continued to be used for some grades until 1970, when it was closed. East Irvington, an unincorporated area of the town of Greenburgh which is part of the Irvington School District, but not of the Village of Irvington, had been known as "Dublin" due to the number of Irish immigrant workers living there, many of whom worked at the nearby quarry. The building was converted to condominiums in 1983, when it was also placed on the National Register of Historic Places. A similar school is located in the section of Tarrytown known as "Pennybridge", which is also part of the Irvington School District.
- Halsey Teahouse (1905) - A. J. Manning was commissioned by oil and cotton magnate Melchior Beltzhoover to build an exact replica of a Rhineland castle. The building, called "Rochroane", was sold to Benjamin Halsey in 1927 and renamed "Grey Towers", but was abandoned in 1976, and it burned down the next year (the exterior was stone, but the interior was wood). The "Halsey Playhouse" or "Teahouse", which was restored in 1997, is the last remnant of the forty-four room castle, except for a Tiffany landscape window now in the Corning Museum of Glass. It has two floors, and an open hexagonal tower with Gothic-arched windows, and there is a walkway and stone bridge around Halsey Pond, which the structure overlooks. Vestiges of a fountain, dam, and other structures can be seen in the nearby woods.
East Irvington Public School building
- Hermit's Grave (1888) - Johann W. Stolting was a native of Heligoland who lived deep in the woods of Irvington as a hermit in the 19th century. He slept in his coffin, made of local chestnut wood, in a cabin overlooking the Saw Mill River valley. Stolting made his own clothes, wore sandals for shoes, but never wore a hat. He survived by selling wooden buttons made on a homemade foot-powered lathe. He died in 1888 at the age of 78, and his grave is only a few hundred feet west of the Saw Mill Parkway – the only marked grave in Irvington. The grave is reachable by a marked trail (the blue and white blazed "HG" trail) that begins at the north end of the village reservoir. (trail head at Fieldpoint Road)
- Hillside (1889) - Built in 1889 for medical doctor Carroll Dunham, the Colonial Revival mansion house was designed for 34 rooms with 16 fireplaces, gables and bay windows, a large staircase, walls of mahogany paneling, and glass designed by Irvington resident Louis Comfort Tiffany. The grounds were designed by Charles Eliot, who also planned the Boston park system with later alterations by Frederick Law Olmsted, the co-creator of New York City's Central Park. The estate was sold shortly after Dunham's death in 1923 to Gordon Harris, the son of American Tobacco Company founder William R. Harris. Gordon Harris, then Vice President of the United States Lines shipping company, and his family lived on the estate until 1946 A caretaker maintained the estate until it was sold to Leonard Read. Reed used the estate to house his Foundation for Economic Education, until it moved out in 2014; the house has been empty since then.
- Irvington Historic District (2013-14). In December 2002, a committee prepared for the Trustees of the village of Irvington a ooglehensive request for the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation of Historic Preservation to create a State and Federal historic district to include the heart of the village:
that area of Irvington bounded by the Hudson River to the West, and Broadway to the East (to include Saint Barnabas and the Presbyterian Churches), by the gates of Barney Park to the South, and by the gates of Matthiessen Park to the North. This boundary being consistent with the original 1850's layout of Dearman, later renamed Irvington-on-Hudson.
Portions of Main St., W. Main St., River St., Bridge St., N. and S. Astor St., N. and S. Buckhout St., N. and S. Cottenet St., N. and S. Dutcher St., N. and S. Eckar St., N. and S. Ferris St., E. and W. Home Pl., Grinnel St., Aqueduct Ln., N. and S. Dearman St., and Broadway
- Lord & Burnham Building (1881) - Lord & Burnham manufactured greenhouses – a splendid example of which can be seen at Lyndhurst, the estate of Jay Gould, in neighboring Tarrytown – and boilers. The Burnham factory building, built in 1881 to replace a factory that burned down on the same site that year, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1999. It has been renovated and repurposed into residences and the new home of the expanded Irvington Public Library. Across the railroad tracks, the buildings of Lord & Burnham's expansion factory have been renovated and transformed into upscale commercial real estate buildings known as Bridge Street Properties, which houses around 60 different companies, retail stores, and restaurants. (Foot of Main Street at the train station)
- McVickar House (1853) - The McVickar House was built by Reverend John McVickar for his son, the Reverend William McVickar, the first rector of St. Barnabas Church. John McVickar's own house was on Fargo Lane, not far from Sunnyside, and it is said that Washington Irving enjoyed the view from John McVickar's house better than the one from his own. The backyard of the William McVickar house became the site of a Con Edison substation in 1957, and served as a doctor's office until 1984. The Village of Irvington acquired it in 2002, and it was restored and renovated to be the headquarters of the Irvington Historical Society, opening in November 2005 as the Irvington History Center. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places (2003). (131 Main Street, between North Dearman and Broadway)
- Nevis (1836) - Columbia University's Nevis Laboratories is located on a 60-acre (24 ha) property originally owned by James Alexander Hamilton, the third son of Alexander Hamilton. He called the estate, which was originally 124 acres (50 ha), "Nevis" after the Caribbean island which was the birthplace of the elder Hamilton. The Greek revival mansion James Hamilton built in 1836 is still standing on the grounds. The estate was given to Columbia in 1934 by Mrs. T. Coleman DuPont, of Delaware, "to make more satisfactory provision for its increasingly important work in landscape architecture and general horticulture." One early pamphlet remarked, "Nevis is one of the superb examples of historic and landscape architecture in America. No other country place north of Maryland so perfectly exemplifies the taste of the Early Republican Period in our history." The property contains an inventory of 2,640 trees and 1,928 ornamental shrubs. (South Broadway)
- Nuits (1853) - This Italianate villa was built as a summer home by the textile importer Francis Cottenet (who came from Nuits-St.-George in France, and whose name adorns "Cottenet Street" in Irvington) out of brick faced with Caen stone – a light creamy-yellow limestone quarried in northwestern France near the city of Caen, and brought to America as ballast in Cottenet's ships – to a design by the noted German architect Detlef Lienau. The house was built in two stages, the south entrance area first in 1853, and the north extension, which features a Lord and Burnham conservatory, in 1860. The house passed through numerous owners, including Cyrus Field, John Jacob Astor III and Amzi Lorenzo Barber. Nuits remains a private residence, albeit on 4.78 acres (1.93 ha) rather than the original 40-acre (16 ha) estate. Nuits, which is also known as the Cottenet-Brown House, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, and the house was restored between 1980 and 2000. In May 2015 the house and property was listed for sale at the asking prive of $14.75 million. (Hudson Road and Clifton Place, Ardsley-on-Hudson)
"Nuits", the residence of Francis Cottenet, c.1860
- Odell's Tavern (1693) - The main part of the Odell-Conklin-Harmse Tavern, the oldest house extant in Irvington, is constructed of fieldstone, with walls that are four feet thick. It was built by Jan Harmse after he moved to the area from Long Island, and was converted to a tavern in 1742 Mathius and Sophia Conklin, a function it served until sometime in the 19th century. The "Convention of the Representatives of the State of New York" stopped there in April 1776, when Jonathan Odell was the proprietor, on their way out of New York City when the British occupied it, and discussed General Washington's defeat at the Battle of Long Island. In 1989, the Village of Irvington had the opportunity to purchase for $5.5 million the 10.5-acre (4.2 ha) Murray-Griffin property that includes the Tavern, as well as 19th century barn and carriage house and a 23-room four-story Bedford stone house built in 1938, but did not. The Tavern, which in 2006 was reported as having undergone a recent restoration using artisans from Lyndhurst, is now part of a private residence and is not open to the public. (South Broadway at West Clinton Avenue)
- Shadowbrook (1895), is a 9-acre estate built for banker Henry Graves, located at the corner of West Sunnyside Lane and Broadway just over the border in Tarrytown. It has been the home of Irving Berlin, the noted American songwriter, and jazz musician Stan Getz. It was designed by noted architect R. H. Robertson in the Tudor Revival style. Robertson also designed Richmond Hill, an estate located at the corner of Broadway and Harriman Road in Irvington, which was later utilized as a laboratory for the North American Philips Company and then the Yeshiva Ohel Shmuel, a boarding school for high school and college students, before being torn down in 1979-80 to be replaced by condominiums. Shadowbrook has been converted into multiple private residences, and is not open to the public, although the mansion is sometimes used for weddings and other events. (821 South Broadway, Tarrytown)
- Station Road Tunnel (1837–1842) - At Station Road, west of Broadway, the Old Croton Aqueduct passes overhead iniside a large stone and earthwork viaduct which spans what was the culvert formed by Jewel's Brook. Through the viaduct passes a single-lane tunnel to allow the road to pass through, and another smaller tunnel to the north to allow Jewel's Brook – now known as Barney Brook – through as well. The tunnel plays a major part in the 2016 film The Girl on the Train. (Station Road west of South Broadway)
- Strawberry Hill (1855, expanded c.1870s) - This stone mansion in Norman Victorian Gothic style was built by John Thomas and expanded by Edward Delano Lindsay for John Williams. Still a private residence as of 1995, it has pointed gables, turrets and large shuttered windows. (North Broadway)
- Sunnyside (1656/1835) - In 1835 Washington Irving bought for $1,800 a two-room pitched-roofed Dutch farm house built in 1656 from the property that was William Ecker's, and spent 15 years expanding and redesigning the house with the help of his friend and neighbor George Harvey, a landscape painter. Ten years later Irving continued, adding a tower his friends called "The Pagoda". Today, the house is owned and operated as a museum by Historic Hudson Valley. (West Sunnyside Lane at the river)
- Washington Irving Memorial (1927) - Designed by Daniel Chester French, America's leading sculptor at the time and the designer of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the Irving memorial, which is on the National Register of Historic Places (2000), shows a bust of Irving flanked by two of his characters, Boabdil from The Alhambra and Rip van Winkle, all set against polished pink Vermont granite. (North Broadway at West Sunnyside Lane)
- Town Hall (1902) - The Irvington Town Hall, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, is built on land deeded to the village before the turn of the 20th century by the Mental and Moral Improvement Society of Irvington, of which Charles Lewis Tiffany – founder of Tiffany & Co. and the father of Louis Comfort Tiffany – was the president. The Society required that the building must have in perpetuity a reading room, and also specified that it have a public hall. The brick, stone and terra cotta building, which is called a "Town Hall" despite Irvington being only a village, was designed by Alfred J. Manning and cost $150,000 to build. The library was to replace the short-lived Irvington Free Library (later the "Atheneum") which began in the local "little red schoolhouse". The new library, which opened in 1902, was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, with Tiffany-glass lighting fixtures. The furnishings were donated by Helen Gould, the daughter of Jay Gould, and Frederick W. Guiteau – uncle of Charles J. Guiteau, who assassinated President James Garfield – paid for the books with a $10,000 endowment which he originally intended to bequeath to it in his will. Although in 2000 the library moved into the Burnham Building, a reading room, the "Tiffany Room", remains in the Town Hall, to fulfill the requirements of the deed. The reading room was restored in 2004. In front of the Town Hall is a stone fountain memorial to Dr. Isaiah Ashton, the village physician who died in 1889. It was originally located on Broadway, where it was intended to be used to water horses. A recently installed statue of Rip Van Winkle stands next to the Town Hall, on the grounds of the Main Street School. Beginning on August 1, 2016, restoration of the exterior began. Although the project was held up by a work stoppage and contractual disputes with the contractor. The work, which will provide new windows, masonry and terra-cotta tiles specifically produced for the building, is projected to be completed by April 2017. (Main Street at North Ferris Street)
- Town Hall Theater (1902, restored 1979-80) - The theater was designed to be a replica of Ford's Theatre in Washington, where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, and when completed in 1902 it was widely thought to be one of the best "opera houses" in the Hudson Valley. For decades the social life of Irvington revolved around the theater, which hosted concerts, recitals, balls, cotillions, graduations, minstrel shows, auditions, political rallies and public meetings. However, it gradually fell into disuse and disrepair by the 1960s, being used only for occasional exhibitions and overnight "camping" by the local Boy Scout troops. In 1978 concerted citizen action started the ball rolling to completely renovate and revitalize the theater, and it re-opened in 1980, run by Irvington Town Hall Theater, Inc., a non-profit corporation under the auspices of the Town Hall Theater Commission, whose members are appointed by the mayor. Today, the Town Hall Theater presents a wide variety of events, including concerts, plays and musicals – as well as the "Best of Film" series begun in 2007 and an "All Shorts" film festival started in 2015 – in its 432-seat facility. In 2016, the village received community revitalization funding as part of New NY Bridge, which it will use to create a street-level plaza for the theater. (Main Street at North Ferris Street)
- Villa Lewaro (1917) - Among Irvington's famous residents was Madam C. J. Walker, America's first female millionaire. An African American woman, she made her fortune by developing a line of hair care products, creating a company with 20,000 sales agents, and by investing in real estate. In 1917, Madam Walker had a $250,000 country home built on Broadway in Irvington, designed by Vertner Woodson Tandy, the first registered African-American architect in New York State. She wanted the home to be an example for her people, "to see what could be accomplished, no matter what their background." The name Villa Lewaro was coined by Enrico Caruso, from the first two letters of each word in Lelia Walker Robinson, the name of her daughter, who later went by the name of A'Lelia Walker. A'Lelia Walker inherited the house, and occupied it until her death in 1931, when it was bequeathed to the NAACP which opted to take the proceeds from the sale of the house rather than assume the cost of taxes and upkeep during the Great Depression. The house became the Annie E. Poth Home, a retirement home for seniors operated by the Companions of the Forest, until the 1970s. The neo-Palladian-style mansion still stands today, and is again a private residence. Villa Lewaro is a National Historic Landmark. (North Broadway at Fargo Lane)
Quality of life
In an October 2010 ranking of the "Best Places to Live", Westchester Magazine listed Irvington as #1, remarking that the village is:
Charming, quiet, green, with a darling Main Street, stunning river views, [and] a burgeoning dining scene ... this unassuming rivertown is pretty near perfect. ... [The village] scored the highest in our tally, getting a perfect 10 for safety and proximity to water ... a 9 for its schools ... and an 8 for its green space ... All in all, a great mix.
Factors in which Irvington did not score well in this ranking were "Diversity" and "Property tax", both with a score of four out of ten, and "Housing cost", which earned a five.
In May 2015, the village released a report which indicated that its water supply exceeded the requirements laid down by the State of New York, and later that year, it was reported that Irvington ranked #6 on a list of the safest places in New York based on FBI crime data.
On the other hand, in February 2016 the website RoadSnacks, in an article which made clear that it was "opinion based on fact" and intended as "infotainment", not as serious science, listed Irvington as the third most boring place in New York State, after Briarcliff Manor and Rye Brook in Westchester, and just above Croton-on-Hudson, also in Westchester, and Chestnut Ridge in Rockland.
In November 2016, Irvington was rated as #17 on a list of the "30 Safest Places To Live In New York – 2016". Its violent crime rate per 1000 was 0.2, and its property crime rate, also per 1000, was 2.7.
Parks and recreation
As of 2013 about a third of Irvington's land is undeveloped public land, and, as of 2010, 23 percent of the land in Irvington is set aside for parks and recreation. Three of Irvington's parks, Memorial Park (Dows Lane or Station Road), Matthiessen Park (Bridge Street off Astor Street), and Halsey Pond Park, are open only to village residents with a permit, but others are accessible by the general public. The Irvington Parks and Recreation Department is located in the Isabel K. Benjamin Community Center on Main Street.
- There are no public golf courses located in Irvington, but the Ardsley Country Club, a private club founded in 1895, is located in Ardsley-on-Hudson, which is part of Irvington. The Ardsley Curling Club is located on the grounds of the country club.
- Westchester County's V. Everett Macy Park is located in part in Irvington, along the Saw Mill River Parkway at the eastern side of the village boundaries. Created in 1926 and originally called "Woodlands Park", it was renamed for the scion of the Macy family who was Westchester's first Commissioner of Public Welfare and later became a local newspaper baron. The park has three distinct areas with slightly different atmospheres. One part, with an entrance in Ardsley (not Ardsley-on-Hudson) on Saw Mill Road, functions as a local park with ballfields, a playground, public toilets and picnic pavilion. Another, accessible by car only by the northbound lanes of the Saw Mill River Parkway, features the Great Hunger Memorial commemorating the Irish famine of 1845-1852 which drove many Irish immigrants to settle in Westchester. The area also includes Woodlands Lake, with fishing, ice skating, a recently-closed restaurant, access to the South County Trailway, and 500 feet (150 m) of the former Putnam Division Railroad. The final area is largely undeveloped. A county park permit may be required for some uses of the park.
- Irvington Woods Hiking Trails - an extensive network of hiking trails, most of them fairly non-strenuous, criss-crosses the woods between Broadway and the Saw Mill River Parkway. Highlights of the area include the Irvington Reservoir and its associated watershed as well as the Hermit's Grave, the grave of a 19th century immigrant who called the woods his home. (trailheads on Cyrus Field Road, Mountain Road, Fieldpoint Road, and East Field near Irvington High School)
- The Old Croton Trailway State Historic Park and Trail, which runs along the Croton Aqueduct, traverses the village between Broadway and the Hudson River, and is a popular biking and jogging path. In 2016 the village received funding from the New York State Department of Transportation to improve the trail's crossing of Main Street with input from the New York State Parks Department. (west of Broadway)
- Scenic Hudson Park, which is co-owned by the village and the Scenic Hudson Land Trust, is located on the river side of the railroad tracks, not far from the foot of Main Street. Pedestrians can use the underpass at the train station, while cars cross the tracks via Bridge Street. The park has ballfields, children's playgrounds, about a mile of flat walking paths, a boat launch and 4.5 acres (1.8 ha) of lawn. In 2016, the The Journal News called the park "one of Westchester County's most popular public spaces." (Bridge Street at the river)
In 2009, Westchester Magazine named Irvington as the best place for "foodies" to live on the west side of Westchester County, although the article named only two restaurants in the village itself – "Red Hat" and "Chutney Masala" – as well as others in nearby Dobbs Ferry, Hastings and Tarrytown. In May 2012, chef Michael Psilakis opened "MP Taverna" in an old warehouse near the river. In 2013, the Sixty One Bistro opened at 61 Main Street, and in November 2014, "Wolfert's Roost" – named after the original name of Washington Irving's Sunnyside estate – opened at 100 Main Street with an "exuberant" menu, which includes a 38-ounce steak for $129 that "looks like something Fred Flintstone might have slapped on the grill"; in October 2016 it was announced that it would be closing as a full-time restaurant in favor of catering and occasional "pop up" restaurants. The owner, Eric Korn, was also opening a traditional pizza shop on the same block. Also on Main Street is "La Chinita Poblana", which also opened in 2014, a strong, un-"kitschy" Mexican restaurant decorated with paintings by Diego Rivera, and "Chutney Masala", a Tandoori restaurant, which moved in 2016 from the Irvington waterfront to 76 Main Street. In October 2016, the owner of "Chutney Masala" opened "Sambal Thai and Malaysian" on Main Street.
In addition, Irvington's former New York Central Railroad station house, which was a ticket office from 1889 to 1957, is now, in 2016, with the addition of an outdoor garden, "Brrzaar", a 20-seat café serving frozen yogurt.
In popular culture
Films and television
- The following films include scenes shot in Irvington:
- Episodes of the TV programs America's Castles – "Empire Estates" (1997) – and Vetted were partly filmed in the village.
- The village was also featured in a short comic film by Gary Weis broadcast on the January 17, 1976 episode of Saturday Night Live; it showed Buck Henry looking for Irvington's funniest person.
- Irvington was used as the location for a television commercial for the New York State Lottery (c.2009), featuring the character "Little Bit of Luck", and the Ardsley-on-Hudson train station was featured in a commercial for Dr. Pepper.
- Part of Clarence Day, Jr.'s family memoir Life with Father (1935), takes place in Irvington when the family lived there.
Images for kids
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