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Fierce Bunny MChayes 149 copyFierce Bunny by Michael ChayesWe asked for photos of the wildlife that abounds in Scarsdale and you answered. It’s amazing what residents are finding in their own backyards, on the streets and in the parks of the Village.

Hawks abound, and though many are calling them red tailed hawks, Zachary Jacobs said they are actually Rough Legged Hawks that live in Fox Meadow and are not usually here in the summer. See his photo below along with a hawk that Nancy Adler found on her balcony on Park Road and another spotted by Andrew Sereysky in Greenacres.

Photographer Michael Chayes captured a chipmunk, a goldfinch and this fierce bunny, one scary guy.

And Marjorie Engel forwarded a photo of an egret she spotted in the brook behind the high school.

On the scarier side, see below for a fox on Stratton Road, captured by Sharath Srinivas.

Keep sending your photos to scarsdalecomments@gmail.com. All shots of flora and fauna are welcome.

Chipmunk MChayes258 copyChipmunk by Michael Chayes Goldfinch MChayes 196 copyGoldfinch by Michael Chayes roughleghawkRough Leg Hawk by Zachary JacobsHawkAdlerA hawk on Park Road from Nancy AdlerredtailedhawkAnother Hawk submitted by Andre de GreenacresegretMarjorieEngelAn egret at the high school submitted by Marjorie EngelfoxonstrattonA Fox on Stratton Road by Sharath Srinivas

flourishcakesCelebration cakesWith so many of us still at home, and the virus putting summer vacation plans in doubt, more than ever we’re dining in. What to cook? Or what to pick up? The question is even more difficult if you have gluten free or vegan eaters in your group.

Diane Forley at Flourish Baking Company in Scarsdale is here to help. Flourish has been cooking healthy, vegan fare for years that was primarily available at other retail outlets but can now be picked up directly from their kitchen on Summerfield Road in Scarsdale.

Chef Forley has been a long-standing advocate and practitioner of plant-based cooking and baking. Her “roots” in modern American and classical French kitchens have allowed her to develop a personal approach that breaks with, yet remains mindful of, tradition. Her early training included The River Café and Gotham Bar and Grill in New York and L’Arpege and Maison Blanche in Paris, and pastry at L’Ecole Lenôtre.

What’s cooking at Flourish? From sweet to savory, Flourish is returning to their roots as a ‘vegetable bakery’ with all vegan ‘burgers,’ ‘meatballs,’ veggie pot pies and soups. They sauté leaves into a vibrant green pesto, toast seeds and spices for a smoky bean chili, and slow-roast roots into fries. Their goal is to make vegetables as delicious as possible and create pantry staples that you can use to help you ‘FLOURISH’ in your own kitchen.

If you’d like to do it yourself, Flourish has assembled all the components for a complete meal selecting from theirflourishsoupsSoups most popular meal combos. Each family meal will serve up to four and designed to be ready in 30 minutes or less. All items are stored frozen until ready to bake and reheat. For best results, thaw a day ahead for quick reheats. Choose from vegan burgers and fries or macaroni and cheese and slaw with chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin or snickerdoodle cookie dough that you can pop into the oven and enjoy a fresh batch of warm home baked cookies.

Flourish bakes their own bread as well as cakes including carrot, apple crumb and chocolate or vanilla celebration cakes with wheat flour or gluten free.

Flourish has taken many precautions to ensure the health and safety of their employees, the work environment, and their products during the COVID crisis.

Visit their website here to order by Wednesday for curbside pick up on Fridays from 10 am to 4 pm at 160 Summerfield Street in Scarsdale.

Flourish Baking Company
160 Summerfield Street
Scarsdale, New York 10583
914-725-1026
https://flourishbakingcompany.com

flourishsteakfriesSteak FriesmilletburgersMillet Burgers

11DolmaRoadThe young buyers of an iconic home at 11 Dolma Road in Scarsdale have filed an application to raze the house, pool and pool house on the 3.26 acre property. Sarah and Steven Binetter purchased the home in November 2019 for $7.8 million along with an adjacent 1.6 acre property at 100 Mamaroneck Road from Daniel and Jane Och. The main house is 8,391 square feet with 6 bedrooms and 6.5 baths. It was built in 1928 and designed by noted architect Julius Gregory who was also a Scarsdale resident.

The applicants retained White Plains law firm Cuddy and Feder to show why the house lacks merit for preservation. Cuddy and Feder in turn retained senior architectural historian, Emily T. Cooperman from Paulus, Sokolowski and Sartor, LLC to provide architectural background on the house and the architect and demonstrate why the applicants should be given the go ahead to take it down.

11DolmaPool

As background, in 2012, the Village of Scarsdale retained cultural historian Andrew Dolkhart and architects Li-Saltzman to produce a Reconnaissance Level Cultural Resource Survey of homes and landmarks in the Village. The comprehensive report recommends both individual homes that warrant preservation as well as neighborhoods – or areas – that contain groups of historic homes. The house at 11 Dolma Road was noted individually as a part of the Dolma Road study area which was singled out for its historic homes.

About Dolma Road, the study says the following, “Dolma Road, running from Murray Hill Road to Birchall Road, is a short street lined with exclusive houses on large lots, most erected between 1926 and 1929 (one dates from 1935), primarily for wealthy businessmen and their families (Figure 7-10-1). Dolma Road was largely a project of Walter J. Collet, the Scarsdale builder who was responsible for the construction of many substantial houses in the village. Collet claimed that he chose the name Dolma in reference to a mountain range in Bengal, India; just why he made this choice remains a mystery.”

architecturalrecordAn article in the Architectural Record about a home Gregory designed in Harrison.Turning to the house at 11 Dolma Road, the report says, “The talented architect Julius Gregory, whose work can be seen in other areas of Scarsdale (including his own house), designed a huge French farmhouse at No. 11, one of the finest houses of the type in Scarsdale (Figure 7-10-11). The L-shaped brick house has a polygonal corner tower and an entrance set beneath a shed hood, a sophisticated rendition of vernacular rural French design.”

The report says Gregory was a “specialist in suburban homes, and among the most talented architects in the United States, designing this type of house for the upper middle class.”

According to Scarsdale Village Code, in order to save the house, the Committee for Historic Preservation has to rule that it meets one of the following five 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; 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; or
(4) That the building embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction that possess high artistic value; or
(5) That the building has yielded or may be likely to yield information important in prehistory or history.

So, the decision might depend on whether or not Julius Gregory can be considered a master.

In the reconnaissance report, cultural historian Andrew Dolkhart has much to say about Julius Gregory, the architect of the home.

Discussing English Cottage style homes the report says, “In their picturesque massing, with steep roof slopes, gables, and dormers, and in their use of such features and slate roofs, casement windows, and tall chimneys, English Cottages resemble their Tudor Revival cousins; some even have small amounts of half timbering. But these buildings tend to have less decorated facades, relying for effect largely on the use of wide expanses of stucco. Architect Julius Gregory, a resident of Scarsdale and major proponent of the English Cottage style, noted in the magazine Architectural Forum that these houses constitute “one of the most interesting and picturesque forms of our domestic architecture. When carried out in the spirit of the old work and placed amid a proper setting, no other type of architecture can equal it in its quality of charm and what we may call ‘livableness.’

…. Julius Gregory, among the leading architects of traditional houses, worked throughout the metropolitan area, but designed several of his finest buildings in Scarsdale. He also lived in the community, in a medieval French style house at 3 Church Lane.

He also notes that Gregory designed 1 Chase Road in downtown Scarsdale. “The Scarsdale 1ChaseRoadImprovement Corporation established Tudor as the style for the Downtown and almost every building to follow was designed in this style. In 1926, Julius Gregory, the architect responsible for some of Scarsdale’s finest houses, designed the two-story Tudor Revival style commercial block at 35 Popham Road/1 Chase Road (Figure 7-6-4).”

In addition to his work in Scarsdale, Gregory was an active residential architect in the Bronx and Westchester. He designed 42 homes in the Fieldston historic district in Riverdale along with W. Stanwood Phillips and Dwight James Baum. Many of those historic homes remain today in the area that was landmarked as a historic district in 2003.

He also built in Edgemont, where a listing for 19 Cotswold Way said, “Designed in 1928 by Julius Gregory, the University of California-schooled Sacramento native best known for his commissions in Scarsdale and Riverdale's tony Fieldston enclave, this magnificent Tudor is truly in a league of its own. Dubbed Dunmovin, the elegantly English residence was completed in 1928 for Matthew S. Eylar, marketing master for what would ultimately become the Underwood-Sunstrand typewriter empire. One would be challenged to find any feature the home that doesn't strike awe. Every block of its robust masonry was sourced on-site. Some was salvaged from an old farmhouse that stood on the property, while the bulk is composed of the very granite blasted to lay the manor's foundation. Restored leaded glass windows, terracotta and antique limestone flooring and a Ludowici tile roof.” 

In order to decide whether or not Gregory is a master, the committee might also consider references to Gregory’s work in publications of the day, of which there are many:

Here are just a few:

Gregory is quoted in “The American Architect and Architecture Review, in Volume 26, published in 1924.

In 1927, the residence of Sidney J. Sonn, esq. in Harrison, designed by Gregory is included in the Architectural Record. 

Julius Gregory, “On the Charm and Character of the English Cottage,” was published in Architectural Forum 42 in March 1926. 147.

Another study, “The Country House, an Analysis of the Architect’s Method of Approach” published in the November 1927 Architectural Record includes homes designed by Gregory along with a home for C.E. Chamber in Riverdale in a 1921 issue of the Architectural Record.

However, in their report, the attorneys from Cuddy and Feder deny that Gregory was a master. It notes that his 1920 application for membership in the American Institute of Architects and a 1935 application for election to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows were rejected. They say, “details of his architectural training are scarce.”

They diminish the importance of his publications, denying that they are architectural journals. The lawyers say, “many of these publications appear in popular homemaking periodicals, which is unsurprising given that his wife was a freelance magazine illustrator.”

Also since Gregory was well known for English Cottage style homes and Andrew Dolkhart called 11 Dolma a “French farmhouse” in the reconnaissance study, the attorneys claim that 11 Dolma is a departure from Gregory’s style and “not representative of the work for which he was so well known.”

About the house, the attorneys show that over the almost 100 years since the house was built, alterations have been made that “resulted in substantial changes to the historic appearance, volumetric organization and materials,” and compromised the architectural appearance of the main residence.”

The alterations they note are changes to the windows and dormers, including the addition of a bay window, a change in the roof above the entry from shed to gable, reconfiguring of the garage doors and construction of a chimney for a fireplace.

Below find the original photo of the home and the home as it appeared in 2019.

ColletBook

In deciding whether or not the home is worthy of preservation the committee might also consider whether or not the building is associated with the life of a person or persons of historical significance. The home was most recently owned by the Och family. In his bio on Wikipedia, Dan Och is described as follows: “Daniel Och (born 1961) is an American billionaire investor, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist. He is the founder, chairman and former CEO of Och-Ziff Capital Management, a global hedge fund and alternative asset management firm. According to Forbes he has a net worth of US$3.1 billion (as of May 2020).”

Ultimately, the committee will need to decide whether the home meets any of their criteria for preservation, and if so why. In 2016, the committee denied the owners of a neighboring property at 12 Dolma Road permission to tear it down. But the following year, the homeowners pleaded hardship and claimed they were unable to sell it, and the Committee for Historic Preservation’s decision was overturned by the Board of Trustees.

Now another home on this historic street will be considered for demolition. You can watch the hearing without leaving home. The proceedings of the Committee for Historic Preservation will be held on Zoom at 7 pm on Tuesday June 30. Find the link to review all the supporting documents and to watch the meeting here:

Commenting on the above, reader Alan Sacks said,

"Ladies & Gents: The demolition of such a fine gem of a building by these cynics seeking to do so would be another Penn Station. Smaller footprint, but same lesson. I would be disappointed if the editorial board would not take a stronger stand. We are in an age where standing by is complicit. The enablers have no love for this place called Scarsdale, only the deal they rub their hands together to close."

7ChurchLaneA total of 70 firefighters were involved in an effort to squash a fire at 7 Church Lane in Scarsdale on Monday afternoon July 6. According to Scarsdale Fire Chief Jim Seymour, it took 3 hours to extinguish a fire that started on the third floor of the house. High outdoor temperatures and tigh third floor space contributed to the difficulty in getting in the fire under control.

Here is an account from Scarsdale Fire Chief Jim Seymour:

“We responded to 1 Rochambeau Road at 4:27 pm for smoke from a house. The first arriving engine found heavy smoke on the block and determined the fire was at 7 Church Lane. There was heavy fire on the 3rd floor of a 3 story private dwelling. It took crews a bit to navigate the narrow hallway and staircase to the top floor. We operated with 3 hose lines for well over an hour before we had a good handle on it.

We left the scene around 7:30 this evening. 2 members suffered injuries and were transported to the hospital. Scarsdale was assisted by the Hartsdale, Greenville, Fairview, White Plains, Eastchester and New Rochelle Fire Departments at the scene while Yonkers covered the village. The fire was extremely labor intensive due to the location of the fire and extreme summer temperature. All together approximately 70 firefighters operated over the 3-hour event.”

According to property records the home sold on June 25, 2020 for $1,060,000 and a permit for a new home on the property had been issued by Scarsdale Village.

Former Scarsdale resident Emilio Tomassi, who now lives in Rome, saw the coverage about the fire on Scarsdale10583. He sent us the photo below taken when he purchased 7 Church Lane for $65,000 in June, 1971. He owned it through 1984 and raised three children there.

7Church 1971

ParkwayCafeParkway is now serving outside, six feet apart. Photo credit B.K. MunguiaIt’s one step forward two steps back for the local retail and restaurant scene. Scarsdale Village retailers, who were already struggling before the COVID crisis, have been particularly hard hit but there are some bright spots.

On the positive side, Westchester County has entered Phase 2 of the re-opening process and outdoor dining will be permitted as long as the tables are six feet apart, servers wear face masks and guests wear masks when they are not seated at tables. Today, we were pleased to find Parkway Diner serving outside. In addition to dining, many residents are looking forward to seeing their hairdressers and barbers.

Other businesses that will open in Phase 2 are:


-Offices 
Real Estate
Essential and Phase II In-Store Retail

-Vehicle Sales, Leases, and Rentals
-Retail Rental, Repair, and Cleaning
-Commercial Building Management
-Hair Salons and Barbershops
-Outdoor Dining at Restaurants

On Tuesday June 9 the Village Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing on a law to permit “temporary outdoor retail and food sales in the Village.” According to a memo from Scarsdale’s new Village Planner Gregory Cutler, “The proposed local law is intended to give local businesses the option to conduct commerce outdoors, where greater social distancing is possible, and uninhibited air circulation may reduce viral transmission rates.” In other words, Village food purveyors could expand service out to the sidewalk.

There still appear to be plans afoot to open a branch of The Shade Store on Spencer Place as well as a new Asian restaurant in the site formerly occupied by Lange’s. Akai Asian Fusion Sushi Lounge announced plans to open in December and hopefully they intend to move forward with the restaurant. Mister Chen, serving handmade dumplings in Mamaroneck, also has a sign announcing their intent to open on Garth Road.

As many businesses are in the process of re-opening, it appears that some will not be returning. A walk around the Village revealed that jeweler PetticoatLanePetticoat Lane is closing their Scarsdale store. Photo credit: Emily GilmanSam Lehr has closed its doors along with Daniele Trissi. Petticoat Lane, a favorite for handbags, wallets, accessories and lingerie’s also announced that they will close their Scarsdale location, though they will remain open in Chappaqua and continue to sell online. A sign in the window says everything is 40% off.

These vacancies compound the loss in Scarsdale where many storefronts have been vacant for years. Large spaces once occupied by LF, Space NK, and Vaccaro’s remain empty along with smaller sites like those previously occupied by Wyatt Lily and Taiim Cellar.

All of these losses make it more difficult for the retailers who hang in, as street traffic is reduced as residents have fewer reasons to visit the village.

In Hartsdale, commuters were surprised to find that Starbucks has closed at the Hartsdale Train Station. A sign on the door says that they are permanently closed, though the MTA spokesperson we contacted said they had not received notice that Starbucks would not renew their lease.

Starbuckssign

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