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2009 Heritage Award Properties
The Clark-Berrian House (late 1700s)
1120 North Avenue
Just before the Revolutionary War, when New Rochelle was a farming community of roughly 700 inhabitants, Moses Clark built a home in the northern part of New Rochelle on a tract of land owned by the Seacords, whose patriarch, Ambroise Sicard, was one of the first settlers. Clark’s simple dwelling grew as it became home to his descendants and their spouses - Clarks, Seacords and Berrians, well into the 20th century. Each owner tailored the house to the family’s needs. Although the current structure is considerably larger and altered from its original two-over-two simple structure, each era has been well preserved. Retaining its farmhouse character, the private residence continues to be a daily reminder of New Rochelle’s centuries as an agrarian community.
Mahlstedt House - Huguenot Library Branch (Huguenot Children’s Library) (1869)
794 North Avenue
Possibly the first brick residence in New Rochelle, the Mahlstedt family lived here while managing a thriving ice-making business on the large lake the house overlooked. Once ice could be made in home freezers, the business became obsolete. The 40 acres of property were sold to the City of New Rochelle in 1922 for a new high school and park. The lake became Twin Lakes by a causeway leading to the school; the land along North Avenue was groomed into Huguenot Park; and the charming brick house was transformed into a branch of the New Rochelle Public Library, which is remained for 70 years. The City’s financial crisis forced its closing in 1992. The Partnership for the Huguenot Children’s Library raised more than $350,000 to gut the building, rebuild the interior and rehabilitate the exterior. Through “sweat equity” and donations from local contractors and suppliers, the French Second Empire-style building was beautifully restored and the Huguenot Children’s Library was created.
The Arcade Building (The Curtain Shop) (1897)
541 Main StreetA stunning metamorphosis occurred at 541 Main Street during its 110th year, in 2007. A restoration completed on the home of the Curtain Shop, facilitated by the New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District (BID), removed an unattractive façade to reveal gorgeous arched windows and detailed terracotta relief work that had been hidden since the 1940’s. Today, the building declares its original use by the raised letters, “The Arcade”. William Weisskpof constructed it in 1897 for his downtown entertainment center that included eateries, hotel rooms, a billiard hall, shops, a bowling alley, and a gymnasium. The New Rochelle chapter of the YMCA made its first home here in 1899. Later, the building housed the Star Department Store (until 1924), followed by various other retail enterprises. Curtain Shop moved to the building in 1992 from its first location at 501 – 503 Main Street.
Huguenot Yacht Club (c. 1910)
Harbor Lane West
Overlooking Glen Island, the house that is now home to the Huguenot Yacht Club was built around 1910 on a tract owned by the esteemed Judge Martin Keogh. The (unknown) architect/builder employed a type of design that was popular in the rapidly growing community of New Rochelle in the early 1900s. The 2 ½ story Mediterranean Revival-style house was constructed on structural tile finished in white stucco, with a hipped roof of red barrel tiles. Actresses Lillian and Dorothy Gish rented the house in 1919 - 1920 while working for D. W. Griffith, whose studios were on Orienta Point in Mamaroneck. While living here the sisters filmed “Orphans of the Storm” and Lillian starred in “Way Down East”. She also directed a movie for Griffith and filmed it in New Rochelle. The Huguenot Yacht Club was the third yacht club to be established on the western part of the Sound. Founded in 1894 as the Neptune Yacht Club on Neptune Island, the organization soon changed its name to the Huguenot Yacht Club. When the original boathouse on the Lower Harbor burned in 1965, the club’s members purchased the Harbor Lane West property that included Lion’s Boat Yard, two lots and the Spanish Mediterranean house. The members made a conscious decision to retain the original integrity of the exemplary residence as they transformed it into their clubhouse.
“Blue Anchor” - Former home of Cartoonist Clare Briggs (1917)
1 Byworth Road
This Tudor-style house was built for famed cartoonist Clare Briggs in 1917. It was designed by architect Henry G. Morse and constructed of 100 tons of timbers salvaged from an 18th century schooner and purchased by Mr. Briggs from a New Jersey shipyard. “The old English style of architecture so lends itself to the rugged old timbers that many authorities have pronounced the house the best example of English architecture in this country,” Briggs wrote of the house in 1918. He called his home “Blue Anchor” after the artifact that still hangs in the basement. Briggs was one of America’s earliest “strip” artists, earning his fame with one called “When a feller needs a friend.” At the height of his career his cartoons appeared in 180 newspapers, read by 2 million people each day. Many of Briggs’ comics involved his beloved game of golf. He joined the Wykagyl Country Club in 1914 and located his house across from the course.
Former Women’s Club of New Rochelle - Zion Baptist Church (1924)
50 Lockwood Avenue
The New Rochelle Women’s Club was established in 1912, when Mrs. Lawrence E. Van Etten gathered together and a group of 45 well-to-do women, and formed the organization “to work for any and every sort of improvement in New Rochelle.” By the 1920s the club had grown in membership and endowment to allow for the construction of a dedicated clubhouse on Lockwood Avenue. The Tudor Revival-style building, constructed at a cost of $133,000, using stone and slate donated by a member’s family, was ready for occupancy in March, 1924. By the early 1960s, when the club could no longer afford its upkeep, the building was put it up for sale. At the same time, the home of the Zion Baptist Church (established in 1931) at 57 Anderson Street was claimed by an Urban Renewal project.
In June 1965, the Zion Baptist Church purchased the Women’s Club building. While converting the club house into a house of worship, the Zion Baptist Church congregation retained the original design, materials and architectural importance of the structure. Just as the Women’s Club, the building continues to be well utilized by the community, with a variety of civic organizations utilizing the meeting space.
Fire StationsAs New Rochelle’s population began swelling at the turn of the 20th century, the newly-incorporated City started more consistent funding and improvements to its fire service, which was then comprised of six volunteer companies. Beginning in the years of the first paid Fire Chief, James Ross, (1903 – 1919), through the tenure of Chief Walter S. Jones (1920 – 1933), the New Rochelle Fire Department was vastly improved with new stations, paid professionals, updated equipment and modern practices. The three stations receiving Heritage Awards are genuine and daily reminders of this important period in New Rochelle’s history.
Fire Station No. 4 (1910)
155 Drake Avenue
Fire Station No. 4 was built on Drake Avenue for the Neptune Hose Company, (later named Neptune Engine Company), in 1910. At the time, the company was entirely volunteer firefighters and the apparatus was pulled by horses, also housed in the building. The station has since been updated in pace with the times and New Rochelle’s ever-improving fire service–beginning with motorized equipment and professional, rather than volunteer, fire fighters. A renovation in the late 1980s brought the structure up to code and modern times, while maintaining the design of the original exterior. Arched windows, keystone over the bay door, concrete lintels and cornices, and the “Flemish Bond” styling of brick work mimic the details of the 1910 building. Today, the structure stands as a unique example of Dutch Revival style of architecture, patterned after the earliest buildings of the original Dutch settlements on the Hudson River.
Fire Station No. 3 (1912)
756 North AvenueCompleted in 1912, Fire Station No. 3 replaced the earlier quarters for Olympia Engine Company, which had been destroyed in an unfortunate fire two years earlier. The handsome new brick building was designed by Barnard & Wilder in the Italian Renaissance Revival-style, with a four-bay stuccoed façade trimmed in brick and a roof of barrel tile. The architects highlighted the two large equipment doors on the first floor with flared voussoirs of alternating brick and stucco. The second floor windows were also trimmed with brickwork and a round-arched blind of brick. The improved accommodations of the building allowed for paid firefighters to deliver round-the-clock service for the new and growing neighborhoods in the rapidly-growing neighborhoods in the “northern” parts of the city. The building remained largely unchanged until 1985 when deteriorating conditions necessitated rehabilitation efforts. When the two front bays were widened to accommodate more apparatus, the exterior arch in of the doors was maintained and the architectural integrity of the building kept intact.
Fire Station No. 2 (1923)
170 Webster Avenue
A critical need for more public services and buildings to house them was created by another surge in New Rochelle’s population, World War I. Fire Station Number Two, was designed by top architects and built with quality materials, replacing a building at Union and Second Street that housed Union Engine Company, founded in 1901. Local master builders M. Bartnett & Sons completed the building in 1923, with designs by architect Fredrick Winter. Like the earlier New Rochelle fire stations, it is a rectangular masonry structure – but with interesting and complementary architectural details. The arched openings on the equipment doors are trimmed with limestone surrounds and capped with keystones. A beltcourse of smooth limestone runs between the first and second floors. The roof is of barrel tile that overhangs the façade. These design elements, intended to give notice to a public building, but complement a residential neighborhood, continue to serve their purpose.