From a School to an Inn to a School Again
- Tuesday, 28 September 2021 17:57
- Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 September 2021 18:09
- Published: Tuesday, 28 September 2021 17:57
- Joanne Wallenstein
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The School Lane building that is now the home of the Hoff Barthelson Music School, has a storied history, beginning as a school for girls in 1905, transitioning to a lodge or boarding house in 1917, becoming the Scarsdale Inn in 1965 and ultimately renovated to become the current Hoff Barthelson Music School in 1970.
The original Lockwood Collegiate School for Girls opened in Mt. Vernon in 1906 and was run by Leila and Carrie Lockwood. When they outgrew that space, they moved the school to 50 Popham Road, now the site of the Heathcote Apartments. The school was a success and the sisters decided to build a new school, purchasing 6.92 acres that extended from Popham to Lockwood Road from Colonel Alexander E. Crane for $20,976 or $3,000 per acre.
The only structure on the original site was a water tower, and the sisters planned for a school, tennis courts, a hockey field, lawn and gardens.
They called the new building Heathcote Hall: Here is a description of the building:
“The largest room on the ground floor was the gymnasium, and assembly hall. Above the gymnasium, at the north end, was the library, well stacked with good books, a fine place to read or study. The remainder of the second floor was used for classrooms and the two upper floors contained living quarters for the staff and the boarding pupils. The dining room was - as it still is -south of the lobby, a pleasant room, looking out on the School Lane on the east and the gardens on the west.”
Most of the pupils were day students who lived in Scarsdale though there were groups of as many as twenty five girls, escorted by several teachers who commuted daily from Bronxville and Mt Vernon to attend the school.
An article from the Scarsdale Inquirer dated September 1914 announces the new school year. It says, “The Misses Lockwood gladly avail themselves of the Inquirer's courtesy to remind their pupils and new patrons that Heathcote Hall re-opens on next Thursday morning, October 1, for the session of 1914-1915. New pupils are being registered daily and nearly all of last year's students will resume their work together. There have been few changes in the faculty. Madame Vincent has returned safely from France and will conduct the French classes as usual. Miss Klizalu-th Nitchie (Barnard A. B ) will continue in charge of advanced mathematics and Latin, and Miss L. Marion Lockhart (Vassar A. B.) will preside over the primary department. Mr. Hobart 'Nichols, Bronxville's busy artist is so interested in his promising young pupils, who have made such remarkable progress under his instruction during the past two years, that he has consented still to supervise their work.”
There are historical accounts of graduations at the school when “the girls made the room beautiful with daisies, which grew on the grounds in profusion and with additional decoration in white and gold, the School colors. They also sang the School song about “Royal Summer, “ singing “Fields white with daisies and with the clover red.’’
Dances at the school were very popular with the young men of the Village and there were “social events and regular dancing classes.” Over the years the building was used for wedding receptions and meetings of the Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis, the Rotary, and the Lions' Clubs.
However the school only survived for eleven years and was forced to close due to decreasing enrollment. In June 1915 they held their last graduation and in January 1916 they were in deep debt. After consulting with their financial advisers the sisters decided to turn the building into a hotel or boarding house called “The Scarsdale Lodge.” But before they could re-open as a hotel, Leila Lockwood died at the age of 65 after “an illness of three weeks.” Carrie ran the Lodge without her sister, until 1924 when the Lodge met the same fate as the school and also went into debt and was foreclosed.
Carrie Lockwood and Mrs. Frederick Kimball, a widow, were guaranteed an annual income of $1,250 and the Lockwood property was subdivided into lots for houses. Under the terms of the new zoning, the Lodge could continue as a business, but it could not be enlarged or replaced. It became home to some older people who had sold their Scarsdale homes.
In 1925 the building was remodeled with new ceiling beams in the gymnasium and additional bathrooms on the upper floors. During the 1920’s the Lodge was managed by Mrs. and Mrs. Henry I. Tanner from Pelham who took in both “transient and permanent guests,” and in 1944 the property again went into foreclosure. It was sold to a Mr. Rogers in 1945, to a Mr. Parker who ran it until 1958 and then transferred the property to his daughter Mrs. Bruce Stein who changed the name to “The Scarsdale Inn.”
In 1965 it was taken over by Sam Harris who painted it and made changes to the décor of the main floor.
In February 1971 it was announced that the building would be purchased by the Hoff Barthelson School of Music. The deal was negotiated by Adonizio Realty Corp. and an estimated $250,000 was paid to Bruce Stein, the former owner who held the mortgage. The purchase was made possible by a gift to the school and extensive renovations were made to both the inside and outside of the Inn to convert it back to the school that remains today.