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You are here: Home Section Table Shout it Out BramLee Heights Residents Ask Committee to Save Historic Home at 112 Lee Road
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BramLee Heights Residents Ask Committee to Save Historic Home at 112 Lee Road

112LeeRoadOriginalThe original meeting house, NELIC Hall at 112 Lee Road.

Residents gathered at a meeting of the Committee for Historic Preservation on February 25 to attempt to save the first house built in BramLee Heights which also served as a meeting house and a Dutch church.

An application has been filed to completely demolish the home at 112 Lee Road which was built in 1906 by the North End Land Improvement Corp (NELIC). According to CHP historian Jonathan Lerner, at the time, Scarsdale only had 800-1,000 residents, and the house, formerly known as NELIC Hall served as the gathering place for union hall meetings and the fire company. For eight years it became the Dutch Reform Church.

Lerner noted that Lee Road is named after the owners of the North End Land Company and the house is important in the history of the Village.

Neighbor Lisa McIver attended the meeting and presented some history about the house to the committee, including archived notices in the Scarsdale Inquirer that show the establishment of the church in 1912 and a minstrel show in Nelic Hall in 1913. She said, “If there is any house in BramLee Heights that means something, it is this one.” She also submitted a petition with 40 names asking for the house to be preserved.

Natalie Reich of 125 Lee Road noted that the site provides “greenery and history” and it would be sad to have it torn down. Neighbor and realtor Sheri Wolfe of 117 Lee Road said, “Houses on Brown and Brambach Roads have been torn down and replaced with cookie cutter homes. Our street is beautiful. I want to preserve the history of the neighborhood.”

The committee is charged with considering the following criteria to determine whether a property is historic and should be preserved: 

In making a determination whether to grant an application for a certificate or to deny such application and require that the building in question be preserved, the Committee shall consider the level of significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering and culture present in the building, as well as the integrity of location, design, setting, materials and workmanship , and

1. That the building is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to broad patterns of Village, regional, state or national history; or

2. That the building is associated with the life of a person or persons of historical significance; or

3. That the building is the work of a master and embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction that possess high artistic values; or

4. That the building has yielded or may be likely to yield information important in prehistory or history,

B. The Committee may consider if the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, New York State Register of Historic Places or Westchester County Inventory of Historic Places. A national, state, or county listing alone is not sufficient to warrant preservation.

In this case, the committee needs to determine if 112 Lee Road meets criteria #1, "That the building is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to broad patterns of Village, regional, state or national history;

In the discussion about the decision, committee members regretted that they did not have all this information before the meeting and said that the onus to provide historical information was on the applicant who claimed there was little to discover.Committee member Kevin Reed said, “I cannot decide tonight – I need time to look at it. We need to judge it on all the facts and not just some of 112LeeRoad2020112 Lee Road today.them.”

Mark Behr, an architect and committee member noted that the home had been extensively renovated in the 1960’s and said, “The board has to consider the structure as it stands today. Should we consider this building or the historic structure that was there? If a building has been altered, should it still be preserved?... It is now a 1960’s house.”

At the end of the discussion, Kevin Reed made a motion to table the decision until the committee’s next meeting and it was approved.

Commenting on the article, former resident Alan Sacks said, "The house at 112 Lee is over a century old. Yes, it’s been modified, but the basic is hand-built. In other parts of the country this would be deemed a treasure. Maybe a partial restoration is in order. Why do we need another styro McMansion?"

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