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2008 Heritage Award Properties
The Israel Seacord House (late 1770s)
1337 North Avenue
Located on the corner of Quaker Ridge Road and North Avenue, the original section of the house on this site is believed to have been constructed in the 1770s by Israel Seacord, on land deeded to him by his father, James. During the Revolutionary War, Sir Lord William Howe, commander of British forces, made his headquarters in the Seacord farmhouse before marching his troops to the Battle of White Plains, October 1776. Records show that the land remained in the Seacord family until the turn of the 20th century, when it was purchased by Charles and Regina Niehaus. Charles was a nationally recognized sculptor who created many notable sculptures in Washington; Regina became a renowned horticulturist. The farmland was sold off, bit by bit, to the developers of Bonnie Crest neighborhood. The Israel Seacord farmhouse was enlarged over the years; the farm’s cider mill is now the home at 22 Quaker Ridge Road. The contemporary residents of the Israel Seacord House at 1337 North Avenue have made numerous and accurate restorations to the exterior and interior during the three decades of their ownership.
The Leonard Seacord House (late 1770s)
1075 North Avenue
A section of this former farmhouse is believed to have been built in the late 1770s, as the first home of one of the community’s earliest Huguenot settlers, John Renoud. The house and its land later became part of the Seacord family’s extensive holdings in this area of town. Over the years, many additions and changes were made to the original structure, and now represent many different periods of New Rochelle’s past. Leonard Seacord was the last in the family to own the farmland that extended from his house at 1075 North Avenue to the Hutchinson River. Remaining intact during New Rochelle’s huge real estate boom in the 1920s, the land was sold to the Seacord Development Corporation in 1946 and the property was subdivided for the homes that now line Seacord Road.
The Seacord Legacy: Ambroise Sicard (sic) was one of the first settlers in New Rochelle. His children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren farmed land on both sides of the important “Middle Line” (now North Avenue) in “Upper New Rochelle”, as well as property along the Boston Post Road in “Lower New Rochelle”. The Seacords were among the community’s earliest “officials”, as documented in the Town Records of New Rochelle 1699-1828.
The Seacords of “Upper New Rochelle”: The Leonard Seacord House and the Israel Seacord House are two of the three extant properties from the Seacord’s large land holdings. The other, the Moses Clark Homestead-Berrian House at 1120 North Avenue, was owned by one of the Seacord women. These Seacords were founding members of the First Methodist Church in New Rochelle, and gave land for its first building, later replaced by the former Second Methodist Church, at 1228 North Avenue.
Mayflower Hill House (exemplary restoration) (c. 1912)
189 Mayflower Avenue
The first property to earn a New Rochelle Heritage Award for “Exemplary Restoration”, the Mayflower House was accurately and beautifully restored to its original appearance by its current owners over the course of three+ years. The extensive exterior work, meticulously documented, transformed a dreary looking building that had been “patched-repaired” and neglected over the years into a stellar example of the homes New Rochelle boasted during its early years as a premier New York suburban community. The style of the house incorporates late-Victorian and Shingle style features, and includes one three-sided turret, two bays facing the street, and a large front porch with pillars, as well many other key elements that now resound original intent and craftsmanship.
The house first appears on city maps and documents of this corner of Mayflower Avenue and Faneuil Place in 1912. Interestingly, the house has attributes that would date it early, at the turn of the 20th century, which could mean that it was built earlier and then moved to its current location. Situated near the top of Mayflower Avenue, the home was located in what was known as “Huguenot Park”. This was one of many “residential parks” developed in New Rochelle between the 1880s and 1920s as distinguishable neighborhoods in park-like settings.
St. John’s Wilmot Church (1859)
11 Wilmot Road
The oldest extant church building in New Rochelle, St. John’s Wilmot Church continues to be an important reminder of the community’s earlier years. Located at the intersection of North Avenue, Wilmot Road and Mill Road, the church anchors the history-rich area of “Cooper’s Corners”, named for the owner of a general store in this 17th - 19th century “satellite” hamlet of New Rochelle. Completed in 1859, the charming wood-frame church building with a steeple atop a bell tower (now enclosed) was designed and built by Alexander Durand as a wayside Episcopal chapel for Trinity Episcopal Church on Huguenot Street in the southern part of New Rochelle and St. James-the-Less in Scarsdale. Soon it was an independent church, serving parishioners in the northern reaches of New Rochelle and beyond. Built on a foundation of Tuckahoe marble, the building’s interior retains such original details as 19 mahogany pews and chandeliers.
New Rochelle Rowing Club (late 1800s) (Demolished in 2015)
One of the oldest athletic organizations in the county, the New Rochelle Rowing Club, located in Hudson Park, was founded in 1880 by a group of prominent locals. The club moved from its original site on Pelham Road at the bottom of Church Street, (at the time, waterfront property), to its present location in 1882. The first building at this site was lost to fire around 1900 and immediately replaced by the current two-story clubhouse. Over the years the Club held three national rowing championships and participated in numerous major meets. It was the home club of Cy Cromwell and Jim Storm, silver medalists in the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The building, which still houses the graceful boats, is topped by an 1864 clock tower that was removed from the former City Hall on Main Street when it was demolished in the 1960s. Club members restored the cupola and lifted it to its perch in 1974, where it served as a landmark to boaters on Long Island Sound. Following damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, the building was condemned and subsequently torn down by the City of New Rochelle, which owned the property on which the structure had stood.
131-155 Weyman Avenue
One of a number of schools built or enlarged in New Rochelle during the late 1920s and early 1930s to accommodate a mushrooming population, Jefferson School was entirely unique in its Art Deco design. The buff brick building includes outstanding details exemplifying this popular design trend, including its limestone trim, a stone above the door with the name in the “Broadway” font, and other streamlined “Moderne” stylized ornamentation. This structure replaced an 1895 schoolhouse that was named after the third U.S. President in 1919. Completed in 1932, the current building was designed by the prominent New York City firm of Starrett and Van Vleck. The architects’ works also include Henry Barnard School and Isaac E. Young Junior High School (now Middle School) in New Rochelle, and Lord & Taylor’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, the Downtown Athletic Club and Bloomingdale’s, in New York City.