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Stroll through Bronxville's Historic Hilltop with Anderson Kenny a Huge Success PDF Print Email


By Susan Law and Rita Steinkamp, Realtors, Houlihan Lawrence 

Jun. 28, 2017:  As lifelong village residents, the two of us have always respected the iconic designs of William Augustus Bates, especially in Bronxville. At the turn of the 20th century, he was the undisputed “right-hand man” of William Van Duzer Lawrence's, our company’s founder and the visionary creator of Bronxville’s historic artist colony known as Lawrence Park, now affectionately known as “the Hilltop.”

But did you know that in 1889, Lawrence’s first impression of the area was “altogether a desolate and forsaken place”? And did you know that Lawrence and Bates, both Midwesterners, developed the Hilltop as an outcry against the ills of the Industrial Revolution? The goal was to create distinctive homes of the finest materials that looked as though they had sprung right from the land.

We learned all of this and much more this past Saturday morning, June 24, when local architect and Bates expert Anderson Kenny led a crowd of 25 for a fabulous tour of three Bates-designed Hilltop homes currently on the market with Houlihan Lawrence.

After enjoying breakfast and conversation on the expansive stone porch of Bates's iconic 7 Valley Road shingle-style masterpiece, the group toured the first floor of the house. From its floor-to-ceiling stained-glass windows to its minstrels’ gallery to its stunning wrap-around balustrade designed for “high drama” entertaining, 7 Valley has features that Kenny noted “could not be replicated today, or could not be replicated without great difficulty.”

After the interior tour at 7 Valley, Kenny led the group up the winding yellow brick roads of the Hilltop to examine the distinctive architectural features of 18 Gladwin Place and 6 Chestnut Avenue. 

Built in 1898, Gladwin was Bates's interpretation of an elegant Southern Colonial style with its graceful two-story Ionic columns overlooking a sweeping lawn below.  

Chestnut, the former home of Elizabeth “Libby” Custer's, the widow of General George Armstrong Custer, was admired by the group not only for its shingle-style whimsy and Bates's use of pleasing arched mullions but also for the quality of its historic restoration.

We both are extremely grateful to Anderson Kenny for the expertise he brings that enables us to appreciate the quality and uniqueness of these fine period homes. And his work with The Bronxville Historical Conservancy has enabled the careful restoration of certain parts of our cherished yellow brick roads, another Hilltop treasure.  

Pictured here (L to R):  Rita Steinkamp, Anderson Kenny, and Susan Law.

Photo by Charlie Law


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Bronxville Overview

Bronxville Overview

Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.

While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.

Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.

The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.

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