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Application to Demolish 1828 Quaker Meeting House is Denied Plus Home Sales and Open Houses

Historical houseAn application to demolish the Quaker Meeting House at 937 Post Road was denied by the Committee for Historic Preservation at their March 20th meeting.
The meeting house, built in 1828, originally stood at a site near the corner of Weaver Street and Griffin Road and was later moved to its current home at 937 Post Road.

The building is representative of a typical Quaker Meeting House, sparely decorated with separate entrances for men and women. In her diary, suffragette Susan B. Anthony mentions attending a meeting in this house.

In a history of Quakers in Scarsdale written by Mickey Singsen, she writes, “About one-third of pre-Revolutionary Scarsdale was a Quaker community. The town population increased slowly. There were only twelve persons listed in 1711 when Heathcote was Lord of the Manor. However, the number increased to 255 by 1740 as his heirs sold or leased land to farmers.” Singsen explains that the 1828 Meeting House was built as a result of a schism in the Quaker community. She says, “In 1828 the Orthodox group in Scarsdale included 11 men, 26 women, 4 minor males and 5 minor females who built a small meeting house for themselves a short distance from the first building on the same lot. This is the building recently reconstructed at 937 Post Road.”

The 1828 Meeting Hose has had many purposes. After it was moved, it became a tool and storage shed for the Heatons (whose estate lay on both sides). It was restored as a meeting house in 1926 by W.H. Aldridge and it was a garage in the 1970’s for the Fraydun Manocherians who is 1976 offered it to the Scarsdale Historical Society.

The Scarsdale Historical Society is seeking to sell the property to a builder. Terms of the sale stipulate that the façade of another building on the property, The Cudner-Hyatt House – be saved. However they contend that since the Meeting House was moved and reconstructed it is not historically significant.

The building appears to meet several of the criteria for preservation, in that:

It is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to broad patterns of Village history

It is associated with the life of persons of historical significance

It embodies the distinctive characteristic of a type, period or method of construction

It can yield information important in history.

The developer, 937 Post Road LLC, planned to subdivide the property and construct three homes.

The application to demolish required a “Yes” vote by a quorum of four of the seven committee members. At the March 20 meeting, six members were present. Lucas Meyer, the committee chair, recused himself from the vote as he is a member of the Scarsdale Historical Society and architect Bana Chuora also recused herself as she has done work for the society in the past.

That left four members to vote, and they were split, with two for and two against.

What next? The Scarsdale Historical Society can file an appeal to the Scarsdale Board of Trustees.


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