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Bronxville Historical Conservancy Boat Trip Enjoyed by 120 Members and Friends; See Photos PDF Print Email


By Ellen de Saint Phalle, Member, Board of Trustees, The Bronxville Historical Conservancy

Oct. 3, 2018:  On Sunday, September 23, 120 members and friends of The Bronxville Historical Conservancy (the "BHC") enjoyed a day-trip up the Hudson River and a tour of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, New York. The trip, organized by Robert Riggs and Judy Unis, with fellow BHC committee members Ellen de Saint PhalleJudy FoleyMarilynn HillRobert ShearerLorraine ShanleyNancy Vittorini, and Bob Wein, was one of many Conservancy-sponsored community events centered on its 20th-anniversary-year art theme.

Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School, the first major art movement in America and the one that inspired Bronxville’s great landscape artists, proclaimed, “The Hudson, for natural magnificence is unsurpassed. What can be more beautiful than the lake-like expanses of Tapaan [sic] and Haverstraw as seen from the rich orchards of the surrounding hills? … The Hudson has its wooded mountains … and an unbounded capacity for improvement by art.” (1841)


For more than two hours, passengers on board the SeaStreak fast ferry enjoyed the Hudson’s magnificence, taking in historic landmarks on both sides of the river. The ship’s three levels of seating included an open upper deck and two enclosed lower levels with expansive windows for optimum viewing. In addition to the breathtaking views, passengers enjoyed conversation, cards, and a hot lunch before disembarking in Catskill for buses to Cole’s house and studio.


The tour included the artist’s 1815 federal style home and two artist studios. The larger studio, originally designed by Cole in 1846, was demolished in 1973 and rebuilt in 2015. Today it includes a museum-quality gallery where participants viewed paintings by Cole and other invaluable artwork from the 19th-century Hudson River School.

The smaller studio, built in 1839, remains on the site. Restored in 2004, this smaller barn-like structure is furnished with Cole’s original easels and other tools and appears as though the artist just stepped out. Cole’s writings are also prominently displayed throughout the exhibition and include personal letters and published poetry.


At the conclusion of the tour, the group boarded buses back to the ferry for the return ride home. Cruising home on the Hudson, passengers enjoyed wine, cheese, and a light supper while continuing conversations inspired by the tour. Commenting on Cole’s work, Judy Unis said, “The struggle between preservation and progress is a recurring theme throughout Cole’s artwork and writings. He wanted desperately not only to capture but also to preserve the natural beauty of his Cedar Grove home in Catskill and the Hudson Valley he so dearly loved. Preservation is what the Conservancy is all about--preserving and protecting our rich historical and cultural legacies and having a lot of fun together while doing it.”


Click here for more photos.

Pictured at top (L to R): Judy Unis, John Hill, Marilynn Hill, and Judy Foley.

Photo at top by A. Warner; photos in text and in link by N. Bower, N. Vittorini, and A. Warner

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.




Village Capital Projects Include Police Body Cameras, Tennis Facility Repairs, More Teardrop Street Lighting, and Sagamore Park Improvements

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By Carol P. Bartold, Senior Reporter May 22, 2019: The Bronxville Board of Trustees, at its regular meeting on May 13, addressed the approval of capital projects and the...

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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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