Aug. 5, 2020: Thanks to the partnership and generosity of the Bronxville Historical Conservancy, the JFK monument in Bronxville is now surrounded by beautiful new plantings.
Commenting on the new addition to the village hall landscape, Mayor Mary Marvin stated, "The village is so grateful for the incredible partnership and connection we have forged with the Historical Conservancy, and this is just another one of many examples of our collaboration."
This monument was unveiled in Bronxville on May 29, 2017, which was the one-hundredth birthday of President John F. Kennedy. The monument recognizes the Kennedy family's residency in Bronxville from 1929 until 1941.
At the unveiling, Bronxville Historical Conservancy lifetime Co-Chair Marilynn Hill said "until today, Bronxville has been the only Kennedy permanent or vacation residence that has not had some official public recognition." She added that many people are surprised to learn that Bronxville served as the Kennedy family's official residence for more than a quarter of John F. Kennedy's life.
Hill also said at that time that "historic markers are almost always found at historic homes," but that Crownlands, the Kennedy family's six-acre estate at 294 Pondfield Road, is no longer standing. Hill said, "Crownlands was demolished in the 1950s and subdivided before village residents realized it would become such an important place."
The village and the Conservancy worked directly with the United States Archivist as well as the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum to create a fitting monument. The Village of Tuckahoe contributed a piece of marble to hold the dedication plaque.
The text on the plaque reads:
"Bronxville was home to John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, from 1929 to 1941. He was a member of Boy Scout Troop 2, worshipped at St. Joseph's Church, and attended local dance classes. With his eight siblings and neighborhood friends, he participated in weekend games and winter sledding on the grounds of Crownlands, the family's six-acre estate at 294 Pondfield Road. Although JFK and two of the oldest siblings received their primary education at a nearby New York City day school, the six youngest children attended Bronxville public and private schools and also were active in their church and village social and club life. In 1938, patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy was appointed ambassador to Great Britain, and the family moved to London for eighteen months. After 1940, when JFK had graduated from Harvard and the other Kennedy children had reached adolescence and young adulthood, the Kennedys moved from the village. The house was sold in 1941, ending twelve years in Bronxville and a time in the life of their family that mother Rose Kennedy later described in her memoir as a "golden interval."
Crownlands no longer exists. In 1953, the colonial revival house was demolished, and the property was subdivided. In 1958, JFK made his last visit to Bronxville to serve as best man in the wedding of his youngest brother. Two years later, the local newspaper's front-page headline proudly announced: "Former Bronxville Man Elected President."
Photo by A. Warner