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Applications Filed to Demolish Two Grand Tudor Homes

3HickoryHistoricPhotoApplications have been filed to demolish two more notable and historic Tudor homes. Both applications will be considered at the meeting of the Committee for Historic Preservation on March 19. Despite the resignation of the entire membership of the Committee for Historic Preservation in protest in late 2017, there has been only one small change to the preservation code, and historic homes continue to be knocked down.

Even market factors such as the changes in the tax law, the Con Edison moratorium on new gas service and the1HickoryPool increase in inventory of luxury homes do not appear to impact developers’ appetite for razing historic homes and replacing them with large colonial style homes. Since the market for luxury homes is slow, builders often buy the property and tear down the original house to reduce the taxes on the lot while they await a buyer. So in addition to destroying Scarsdale's history they reduce the tax revenues to the Village. Given the gas moratorium, it is not clear how developers will power these new mansions.

On the agenda for March 19 are 3 Hickory Lane (formerly 1 Hickory Lane) and 75 Morris Lane, both impressive Tudor homes built in 1929.

The owners of 1-3 Hickory Lane previously filed to subdivide the 1.6 acre property and received permission in September 2018 to subdivide the three tax lots to create two building lots, one intended for a new home at the intersection of Hickory Lane and Olmstead Road. At the time of the application for the subdivision, the applicants gave no indication that they intended to raze the home at 3 Hickory Lane and left enough room for the 7,798 square foot home with 8 bedrooms and five and a half baths and stunning stone pool. The ho3HIckoryentryme was designed by architect Lewis Bowman who was a onetime McKim, Mead & White draftsman and was called, “A brilliant architect who knew how to capture and execute the romantic Tudor and French Normandy styles that were wildly popular in the first quarter of the 20th Century of the US.” He was also the architect of a home at 12 Dolma Road that was deemed to be historic, but razed after the owners pleaded "hardship."

An article on Brownstoner in May 2017 calls the home on Hickory Lane a “Stockbroker Tudor” that was originally built for stockbroker Peter J. Murphy. The article says, “Completed in 1929, the house has all the hallmarks of the style: half timbering, diamond-paned windows and tall chimneys rising high above a complicated roof line.”

1 Hickory was also the home of P.C. Spencer who served as president and chief executive officer of Sinclair Oil Corporation from 1949 to 1953 and chairman and chief executive officer from 1953 to 1961.

Commenting on the application, Scarsdale resident Lisa Beck said, "I am contacting you to express my dismay over the proposed demolition of substantial Tudor homes on Hickory and Morris Lanes. I am a Fox Meadow resident, and am aghast at what seems to be an accelerating disregard for protecting architecturally superior homes and preserving neighborhood aesthetics.

Having toured 1 Hickory (even after damage caused by a leak) it seems impossible to imagine that there are individuals who would demolish it and build in its place an undoubtedly “cheap” and hastily built McMansion. I don’t know if you have been in the home, but it is filled with original detail and has clearly been well-maintained. It is a magnificent and elegant structure, both inside and out. In almost any other place but here, calling it a “teardown” would be preposterous.

These old gracious homes have been quietly disappearing one by one —but now apparently, it has become two by two. Soon there will be little left of the graceful village I arrived in almost twenty years ago.

Thank you for your continued good work making this information more public. Otherwise, we might never even know what was being contemplated until it was announced by a pile of rubble."


Similarly a home at 75 Morris Lane, called Driscoll House, after the original owner, was proposed to be landmarked in the 2012 Cultural Resources Survey of Scarsdale by architects Li/Salzman and historian Andrew Dolkhart. The report says the following about the house which was designed by architect Franklin P. Hammond.

“Franklin P. Hammond, who designed many houses in Scarsdale, was at his most creative with the facade of this irregularly-massed Tudor Revival structure. Arthur F. Driscoll was a lawyer specializing in the entertainment field, who served briefly as Scarsdale's first Democratic mayor in 1939-40. Among Driscoll's legal clients were Jack Dempsey, George M. Cohan (a childhood friend), theater producer Sam Harris, Mary Pickford, and John Barrymore. He also represented United Artists and Pepsi-Cola. The special feature of Driscoll's house is Hammond's use of texture on the facades. The house is primarily of stone, with the individual stones of varying size and color. However, the stone, especially at the main gabled pavilion is highlighted with irregular brick framing and large brick diamonds. The house also has half-timber features, leaded casement windows, and a slate roof with hip-roof dormers. “

The house site on 1.5 acres on Morris Lane where the zoning is one acre, so it is not eligible for a subdivision.

19RockHillRoad19 Rock Hill Lane
This impressive and stately colonial is set on almost an acre of park like property with views of Sunningdale Golf Course. There is an expansive first floor layout with gourmet eat in kitchen adjacent to family room with fireplace, dining room, living room and office with 9 foot ceiling height throughout. The two car garage is located on the first floor and enters into side door entrance to mudroom and laundry and back-stairs with guest bedroom and full bath. The masterfully designed second level boasts an oversized master suite with spa bath and walk in closets. There are 3 additional bedrooms and 2 full baths and incredible great room.

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30HenryStreet30 Henry Street
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8SylvanLane8 Sylvan Lane
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6HazeltonDrive6 Hazelton Drive
Step inside this charming expanded Colonial conveniently located on a lovely tree-lined street. Includes over 2,000 square feet of great living space. Enjoy relaxing on your deck in your private backyard. Beautiful hardwood floors, spacious rooms and lots of natural light.

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18TanglewoodRoad18 Tanglewood Road
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Sale Price: $643,000
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Featured Listings:
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Open House Sunday March 3 from 1-3 PM

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393ClaytonRoad393 Clayton Road, Scarsdale

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