By Nancy Vittorini, Member, Executive Committee, The Bronxville Historical Conservancy
Mar. 27, 2019: In its recent membership mailing, the Bronxville Historical Conservancy shared the smiles of all those who celebrated its 20th anniversary, looking to past notables — artists, architects, village leaders, and visionaries — to capture the camaraderie and spirit of its celebratory year in an impressive 20-page pictorial review, “The Year We Were Twenty.”
Click here to see the pictorial review. The publication is now available to view on the Conservancy's website.
Lancaster Underhill, Bronxville’s first postmaster, who knew every Tom, Dick, and Harry in town (well, to be more accurate, every Alexander, Abidjan, and Cornelius), would be proud to know that the Conservancy kept all of Bronxville’s settlers top of mind in its 20 years of preserving and protecting our village's rich history.
Underhill was joined by architect Lewis Bowman, artists Charles Knight and William Thomas Smedley, famed writer Brendan Gill, WWI war hero Leonard Morange, feminist Anna Lawrence Bisland, early village president Frank Chambers, visionary developer William Van Duzer Lawrence, and others to add historical perspective to the review of the Conservancy’s celebratory year.
The year was filled with an abundance of pursuits devoted to remembering the past. For the younger ones, there was a lesson in architecture with an afternoon of constructing Bronxville’s most treasured buildings brick-by-Lego brick. Rhoda Knight, granddaughter of former Bronxville artist Charles Knight, delighted little ones with her book about her beloved grandfather and his paintings of wild animals. And young students took a ride on the Tuckahoe Trolley, a “time-traveler’s trip,” to see and learn about historic village sites.
The entire community was treated to an evening of engaging conversation between historian Michael Beschloss and journalist Mo Rocca at the annual Brendan Gill Lecture; well-deserved tributes were given to longtime village historian Mary Huber and co-founders of the Conservancy, Marilynn Hill and Bob Riggs.
The art of Bronxville was featured in an illuminating lecture by art historian Jayne Warman, a subject that later served as the theme for "Framed!," a festive evening of murder, mystery, and mayhem when the Conservancy unveiled a 20th-anniversary gift, a Hobart Nichols painting, to add to the growing Conservancy art collection.
Members and friends cruised the Hudson to tour the studio and home of Thomas Cole, the man who inspired Bronxville artists by founding the Hudson River School of Painting; another tour took members to the Owl House, former home of artist William Smedley and, later, writer Brendan Gill.
The celebratory year concluded with a holiday party and annual meeting, where the 2018 Preservation Award was presented to the Bronxville School for its auditorium renovation.
Photo courtesy The Bronxville Historical Conservancy
Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.