White Plains’ 1st Village Street

The following entry is an updated version from  “The Purchase of White Plains” chapter in White Plains, NY: A City of Contrasts:

cochran 1776 mapWhite Plains (WP) in Colonial days was largely made up of farms. Mills sprang up along  streams & its rivers bringing the village its earliest industry.

The center of the village was along a former Indian trail that is now the west side of N Broadway north of Main St and  south along what is now S Broadway & Maple Ave.

Along the dirt road was “the commons” or village green. Today, Tibbits Park and the other undeveloped areas left along the street are what remains of this former open space.

The Cochran Map (pictured above left) is a rendering of the original map held by Westchester County Archives (see their virtual archives) that was an early map drawn during the Battle of White Plains of Oct. 1776 by soldiers serving the American Continental Army.

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At 52 North Broadway  in White Plains (WP) eleven histoic buildings make up the Good Counsel Complex. In 1886, Sisters of the Divine Compassion was founded in NY City by Mother Ma68ry Veronica and Monsignor Thomas S. Preston. They bought the N Broadway property in 1892 and opened the House of Nazareth for children. Gate to property is on left.

In 1901, the Good Counsel Training School opened and in 1918 they began a high school.  The Academy of Our Lady of Good Counsel was established in 1922 and its buildings are in the center of the grounds. At the end of 2014-2015 school year, the high school closed and the elementary school moved to another location.

The Convent was established in 1908 and its buildings were of the Spanish mission style.  On the property, are two former residences: the Tilford House completed in 1856, and  Mapleton House completed in 1867 ( pictured below). Mapleton

Tilford House was moved & repurposed when the Chapel of Divine Compassion (left) was constructed on the site in 1897. The co-founders of Good Counsel are buried in the church along with former clergy & Congressional Presidents.

The Complex was sold in 2015 to a developer who has plans to demolish most of the buildings. Their plan is to move Mapleton next to the church that still remains in the hands of the “sisters.

“Since 1976, Pace University has shared the original complex. Preston Hall (dating from 1931)  once housed Good Counsel College that was established in 1923.  In  1972, the college was renamed WP College.  Original gates can be found at the entrance on N Broadway.

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Across the street from the Complex area, are some of the city’s oldest trees.

Since the 1930’s, N/ S Broadway, and the Post Rd became part of New York Route 22. The post road was used for mail delivery during colonial times and an old 30 mile marker that was located where Maple Ave and South Broadway intercepted.  WP Library is its keeper and is now in reopened Local History Room at WP Library (below).

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Presbyterian Church & Cemetery and the WP Rural Cemetery on N Broadway contain graves from colonial times including those who fought in the Battle of WP. Information about the cemeteries can be found in the entry of website: Buried in WP.PS_20141008221930

Today’s Presbyterian Church (left) dates from 1855 with additions added in 1924 and 1958. Before constructing the first meeting house in 1727, services were held in the homes of its members as far back as 1722. The first structure built on the site was destroyed by fire by Major Austin after the Battle of WP in Nov 1776. A replacement 1825 structure would also be destroyed by fire.

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The WP Rural Cemetery, incorporated in 1854, bought the land bordering the property of the Methodist Church in 1855. The Church Building (1797, above)) became the Cemetery’s office and replaced the first structure that was destroyed by fire in 1795. The Church’s grave yard dates back to 1797. For more information about the cemetery see the entry of website: Buried in WP.

The Tudor style building, the Kennedy-Duncan Building pictured below left) at 69 N Broadway  is the older part of the YWCA residence and dates from 1914.  It was the former Presbyterian Rest For Convalescence and in 2011 was put on the National Register of Historic Places. The YWCA started as a girls club in 1929, was incorporated in 1930 and has offered housing for woman since 1930.  The newer addition dates from 1970.

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Along N Broadway and on the streets nearby there are a number of buildings, private homes and apartment buildings that were built before 1940. The house at 96 N Broadway (yellow house; pictured below left) is listed by WP as dating from 1776. The Colonial Mansion (1899) is at 139 N Broadway (pictured below right). For more information see “Businesses and Organizations” blog entry,

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Broadpark Lodge (1927-8) on Westchester Ave and Main St has some noteworthy architectural details such as a weather vane on a high tower (pictured above) 89and small carved heads decorating the building.

Other older apartments on the street are The Chateau (1928) at 87 N Broadway, the Dorchester (1939) at 40 N Broadway and Broadlawn (pictured left; 1928) at 20 North Broadway. Broadlawn is of French provincial design and the grounds contain two rare Dutch Elms.

 

 

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One S Broadway (1937) (below right), the Brentwood (1935-6) at 300 Main St (above left), the Wellington (1925) at 312 Main Street, the Winton (pictured above right;1939) at 210 Martine, the Parkville House (1920) at 16 Lake St, the Granada Arms (1929) at 30 Winsor Terrance, Franklin Manor/Court (1928) on Franklin Ave, and the Royal View Condominiums (1928) at 42 Barker Ave (below left). 

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Other apartment buildings in the city that predate 1940 include: Saxon House (1928) at 23 Old Mamaroneck Rd, Surrey Strathmore (1939) at 90 Bryant Ave, and Bristol House (1930) at 10 Nosband Ave.