14.Nov.2017 Andrea Court

Andrea Court is a short cul-de-sac in the Bonnie Crest neighborhood of New Rochelle.  It is named after Andrea Syracuse-Silverstein, the daughter of one of the developers, Richard M. Syracuse.

1947 Aerial View

The land that now occupies Andrea Court appears to have been just on the other side of the New York Westchester & Boston train tracks from Dickerman’s Hillandale Farm.  In 1930, it was held by the Victory Park Land & Improvement Company.  (Victory Park was the new name, after World War I, for Bonniecrest, an earlier development laid out by stock broker Evans R. Dick in the early 1900s.).

 

The land was eventually acquired by Syracuse Brothers, Inc., which was founded by three brothers (Richard, Joseph, and Donald) in 1953.  Syracuse Brothers developed the land around Andrea Court, as well as many other neighborhoods in New Rochelle.  Andrea Syracuse-Silverstein graciously confirmed that her father, Richard Syracuse, named the street after her.

05.Nov.2017 Anderson Street

Anderson Street in New Rochelle is a short thoroughfare that connects North Avenue and Lecount Place.  It is named after the Anderson family, who “long resided on the Anderson farm, which was located in the vicinity of Anderson Street and LeCount Place.”  Standard Star entry for Anderson Street. The Anderson homestead was reportedly located on the Main Street-side of New Roc City, which previously was New Rochelle Mall (which was previously St. John’s Methodist Church).

1867 Westchester Atlas.  Rose Street is now North Avenue

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01.Nov.2017 Amherst Drive

Amherst Drive is located off Weaver Street in the North End, just south of the Hutchinson River Parkway (joyfully known to locals as the Hutch).  It is part of a development that was given the name, “Quaker Hill.”  It is located on land that was previously part of the Broadmoor Country Club, and before that, owned by George G. Murray.  Many of the streets in the development appear to have been named after members of the developers’ family.  No clear connection to Amherst is known, although I have a theory (a weak one).

Around the turn of the century, the Larchmont Water Company owned series of reservoirs built along the Sheldrake River, whereby water flowed by gravity from the reservoirs to the village.   The Larchmont Water Company was founded in 1889 by Charles H. Murray, who succeeded as President of the Larchmont Manor Company when Thompson J.S. Flint died in 1882.  Charles’ nephew, George, eventually assumed the position of treasurer.  Scientifically-minded (he was the inventor of several patents), George seems to have taken an increasing role in the water company.  In 1910, George G. Murray is listed as owning about 40 acres of land wedged between the Sheldrake River to the west,  Weaver Street to the east, and Watson B. Dickerman’s Hillandale Farm to the south.

In 1911, Murray sold the land to the Tryon Realty Corporation, which was ostensibly controlled by Cornelius Kingsley Garrison Billings, a wealthy industrialist and horseman.  Like his neighbor to the south, W.B. Dickerman, Billings raced “trotters” (harness racing).  The crowd was so large with rabble when he opened his stables at 196th Street, that he moved the party from the stables — horse and all — to an indoor catering hall.  It does not appear that Billings ever built one of his lavish mansions on the land in New Rochelle.

CKG Billings (person) and Lou Dillon (horse)

In 1925, a group of Scarsdale and New Rochelle residents combined land on both sides of Weaver Street to form the Broadmoor Country Club.  W.W. Caswell’s estate (on the Scarsdale side of Weaver Street) was adapted into the clubhouse.  The course was laid out by noted golf course architect Devereux Emmet.  Emmet, born in Pelham, laid out over one hundred golf courses including local ones like the Hampshire, Pelham, and Lake Isle Country Clubs.

After the Broadmoor Country Club closed, the land on the New Rochelle side was acquired by land developers, Stanley Becker and George Hofstadter.  Becker served in the Navy in World War II and worked in construction in Long Island after the war.  Hofstadter belonged to a family of polymaths, including the Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Robert Hofstadter and the philosopher Albert Hofstadter.  Together, Becker & Hofstadter developed the land from Broadmoor as “Quaker Hill.”

As for the name Amherst, I could find no real connection to either Becker or Hofstadter.  Becker had lived in Great Neck for a time and there was an Amherst Road in that town.  Perhaps he was inspired by it (or perhaps even lived on that road).  Or perhaps there was no concrete connection and the pair relied on it to evoke images of English aristocracy (e.g. Jeffrey Amherst, an officer in the British army).

 

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07.Oct.2017 Amanda Lane

Amanda Lane is sandwiched between Pine Brook Boulevard and the point where Oxford Road turns sharply north and becomes Sussex Road.  I had originally hypothesized that the street was named after the daughter of one of the original owners.  I was wrong.  Thanks to the helpful recollections of one of the original owners, Dennis Orzo, I learned that the street was named after the developers’ granddaughter.

2013 Aerial Map

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16.Sep.2017 Alpine Road

The suffix, “-ine,” is used to denote “of or pertaining to” or “of the nature of.”  Thus, “-ine” attached to “Alps” would mean “Alp-like.”  The Alps are, of course, the European mountain range.  There are a few guesses as to the etymology of the name, “Alps.” One is that it derives from the pre-Indo-European word, “alb,” which means “hill.”  Compare favorably “Albany,” and “Albania.”  Others suggest that “alb” derives from the Latin, “albus.”  In any event, “alpine” usually means, pertaining to high mountains generally.

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04.Sep.2017 Alpha Place

Alpha Place is named after Alpha S. Harman, an employee of New Rochelle Public Schools.  Her father, Charles Harman — no apparent relation to mega-developer Clifford B. Harmon (last name with an “O”) — was the developer of the site.

1910 Westchester Atlas

Alpha is also the first letter if the Greek alphabet.  Interestingly, the article on Alpha Place in the Standard Star (2/5/1934) does not mention Alpha Harman at all, instead providing a detailed rumination on the letter alpha as the first letter of the Greek alphabet.  “Perhaps it would not be stretching the meaning of the word Alpha too far to refer to Alpha Place as “First Place.”  The Standard Star does, however, identify Alpha Harman as the namesake of Alpha Place elsewhere — in the entry for Acacia Terrace — making this researcher’s job a little easier.

Entry for Acacia Terrace is incorporated by reference.  As discussed in that entry, Alpha Place sits on land that was once part of eccentric attorney David Harrison’s estate.  Thaddeus Davids’ son Charles  purchased the land in the 1870s but it was acquired by Theodore and Charlotte Jenkins after Charles Davids untimely passing.  The Jenkins called their homestead, Acacia, apparently for the presence of Acacia trees on the property. The land was purchased by Harman and his business partner Charles LeCount in 1902 and Alpha Place appeared on the map by 1911.

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30.Aug.2017 Allard Avenue

 

Allard Avenue is a short thoroughfare running parallel to Drake Avenue, connecting Main Street and John Street.  It is likely named after William or Ann Allard, Irish immigrants who were early residents.  In the earliest iteration of the street, it simply was a dead end, but eventually it connected to John Street (which at the time was a dead end with its entrance at Weyman Avenue).

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24.Aug.2017 Alfred Lane

This one has been giving me fits.  I’ll be up-front: I’m not 100% sure I know who Alfred Lane is named after.  My best guess is that he’s named after the brother (Joseph Alphonse Lamonte) of the development’s builder (Charles Lamonte).  But any confirmation that Joseph Alponse Lamonte used “Alfred” as his middle name — or any other leads — would be appreciated.

The land occupied by Alfred Lane was a part  of Watson B. Dickerman’s massive Hillanddale Farm located off Quaker Ridge Road.  Dickerman was a wealthy Wall Street businessman.  He was president of both the New York Stock Exchange as well as the New York Zoological Society.  He retired from business to focus on breeding horses for harness racing (“trotters”) and Guernsey cows in 1909.  At Hillanddale,  Dickerman established a first-rate horse breeding operation and Dickerman was inducted to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame as “immortal”in 1976.

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15.Jul.2017 Alden Court

Alden Court is in the Wilmot Woods neighborhood of New Rochelle.  It is named after John Alden, signatory of the Mayflower Compact, early colonist, and major figure in Longfellow’s Courtship of Miles Standish.  There is no discernible connection between Alden and Westchester, despite the profusion of streets named after him here.  The name appears purely symbolic.

It is not entirely clear whether Alden Court was built on land that once occupied the northernmost arm of Jonathan Carpenter’s farm or the southernmost portion of the Robbins farm (see Abingdon Lane post).  The Carpenters were one of many Quakers who settled in the north end of New Rochelle, near the Scarsdale and Mamaroneck borders.  Along with a farm, he operated a saw mill on the upper Sheldrake River, which had been previously dammed to create a pond.  It is still a pond, and also a park (Carpenter’s Pond).

It is difficult to say where Alden Lane would fall on this map, although I suspect it is on Carpenter land

Either way, the land appears to have been acquired by the textile merchant WG Hitchcock as a part of Hitchcock’s effort to amass land in Westchester.  After Hitchcock’s empire suddenly faltered, his holdings were transferred to Scarsdale Estates for disposal.  The parcel just south of Wilmot Road was acquired by the NY and Westchester Townsite Corp, a land speculation concern looking to profit from the nearby NY and Westchester.  The land continued to change hands between a series of real estate concerns during the 1920s and 1930s without any development.

Eventually the land was acquired by Haring and Blumenthal, a long-standing and successful partnership between Charles F. Haring and Louis F. Blumenthal.  The pair started in the theatre business and owned a string of theaters in New York and New Jersey.  In the early 1930s, they purchased and refurbished the Earl Carroll Theatre at 50th Street and 7th Avenue, and opened it as the French Casino, a large and glamorous art deco nightclub that hosted folies and musical reviews.  The duo also were prolific land developers in the Bronx and Westchester.

Wilmot Woods was styled as a “small Colonial Village.”  All of the streets have colonial themed names and according to the charter, only colonial houses were allowed.

“S.R.O.” apparently stands for “Standing Room Only.”

Advertisements touted “a restricted community of congenial neighbors” — we all know what that means.  The neighborhood appears to have been built in two parts, with the area east of Baraud Road developed first, followed by the area west of Baraud Road, which included Alden Court.

1947 Aerial Map

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01.Jul.2017 Albert Place

Albert Place is located between Mayflower Avenue on the north and Coligni on the south, just before Coligni swoops north to meet Mayflower.  It is named after Albert James Girard.  His parents, Dominick and Mary, owned the land that eventually was developed into Albert Place.

1929 Westchester Atlas

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