Local Lore & History
To register please call 914-606-6830 and press option 1
The Beauty and History of Untermyer Gardens
Untermyer Gardens in Yonkers was designed in 1917 by William Welles Bosworth, the architect of Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate. Samuel Untermyer, one of the most successful lawyers in America, was a leading progressive, helping to establish the Federal Reserve Bank and women’s suffrage, and was an internationally prominent opponent of Adolph Hitler. In the 1920’s the gardens were called “America’s Most Spectacular Garden” by the national press. Now a park owned by the City of Yonkers, the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy is working in a public-private partnership with the City to restore these magnificent gardens for the benefit of the public.
The first two programs below are held at Untermyer Gardens located at 945 North Broadway in Yonkers. Visit the Gardens at www.untermyergardens.org.
New! History of Untermyer Gardens
Join us on a tour and explore the history of the owners of Greystone: John Waring, Samuel Tilden, and especially Samuel and Minnie Untermyer. Particular attention will be given to Samuel Untermyer’s progressive accomplishments in economic reform, women’s suffrage, anti-Semitism, and anti-Nazism. Minnie Untermyer will be revealed as a woman behind many cultural movements of her age, such as the NY Philharmonic and the American Society of Poetry. The design of the garden, including its many architectural precedents, will be explained by William Welles Bosworth,
CE-HIST 2091VA, 1 Wed., May 9, 2:00-4:00 pm, Meet near parking lot at main entrance. $20. #13088
New! Horticulture of Untermyer Gardens
This tour will focus on the horticulture of what was called “America’s Most Spectacular Garden” in the 1920’s, now celebrating its centennial. Its ancient trees will be identified. Since 2011, an exuberant palette of new plants has been added to the Walled Garden, Vista, and Temple of Love; these will be highlighted for their artistry, design, and growth habits.
CE-GRDN 2104VA, 1 Wed., May 23, 2:00-4:00 pm, Meet inside the Cola Community Center. $20. #13089
New! Untermyer Gardens: Its Periods of Glory and its Sack
This slide lecture will contain many archival photographs and videos from 1917-1940, illustrating the Gardens’ period of glory and glamor, when it was world famous. From 1946-2010, however, the garden declined, and was the victim of vandalism and neglect. Since the establishment of the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy in 2011, it has experienced a dramatic rebirth.
At Valhalla Campus: CE-HIST 2092VA, 1 Wed., Apr. 25, 2:00-3:30 pm, Room TBD, $15. S Byrns. #13096
Murder, Mayhem and Ghostly Presence in NYC
Discover New York City stories of murder, mayhem, and hauntings with colorful personalities such as J.P. Morgan, Aaron Burr, Teddy Roosevelt and others at locations such as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and Battery Park.
CE-HIST 2051, 2 Sat., Jan. 27 & Feb. 3, 12:30-2:30 pm, KNC-3, $40. L DiMartino. #12302
Authors of the Hudson Valley
The Hudson Valley has a history of creative writing going back to the 1600’s. Learn about some of the more colorful writers including James Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allen Poe, Andrew Jackson Dowling, and others.
CE-LIT 2031, 1 Sat., Jan. 27, 10:00 am-12:00 noon, KNC-3, $25. L DiMartino. #12301
Exploring the History of Yonkers
in partnership with Phillipse Manor Hall
Currently the oldest standing building in Westchester, the Manor served as the first City Hall of Yonkers, bridging Yonkers’ humble rural beginnings to its industrial heyday. Sitting next to the recently daylighted Saw Mill River in Van der Donck Park, it is home to one of only five collections of U.S. Presidential Portraits in the country, and serves as a museum of history, art and architecture, as well as host to community organizations and meetings, educational programs, a community art gallery and many community oriented special events. Visit them at nysparks.com/historic-sites/37/details.aspx or call 914-965-4027.
The three classes below are all held at Phillipse Manor Hall, a NYS Historic Site, 29 Warburton Ave, Yonkers.
History of Park Hill in Yonkers
As the railroads expanded commuting options, real estate companies bought up large tracts of land and developed surrounding communities, such as Park Hill in Yonkers which was marketed to wealthy and middle class New Yorkers, touting the benefits of suburban living and which included many amenities of the time. Learn about the founders of Park Hill, the homes, and events that led to the demise of many real estate companies.
CE-HIST 2079, 1 Sun., Mar. 25, 6:00-9:00 pm, $35. A Piwinski. #13069
Alexander Smith & Sons Carpet Company
During the Industrial Revolution, Yonkers was home to the largest carpet manufacturer in the world. We’ll trace the evolution of this company from the 1860’s through its final move from Yonkers in the mid-1950’s. At one time it employed more than a third of the entire workforce in Yonkers. Learn about the family that ran the dynasty, their lasting gifts to the city of Yonkers, and events that led to its final move away from Yonkers.
CE-HIST 2081, 2 Sun., Mar. 11 & 18, 6:320-8:30 pm, $50. A Piwinski. #13070
History of Yonkers Part 1
We’ll bring some of the history of Yonkers to life through photos and stories. Yonkers is unlike any other great city because of its geographic location and the people who settled there. Learn about Yonkers starting from its time as an agricultural center through Victorian times, as it moved to an industrial economy. History will come alive through first-hand accounts of what life was like in Yonkers. The focus will be on the people who shaped the city of our ancestors. Step back to a simpler time, an almost magical time.
CE-TRVL 2042VA, 4 Wed., Feb. 21-Mar. 21 (skip 3/7), 6:30-8:30 pm, $75. A Piwinski. #13071
The three classes above are all held at Phillipse Manor Hall, a NYS Historic Site, 29 Warburton Ave, Yonkers.