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Irvington, New York

Irvington, New York
Irvington Town Hall
Location of Irvington, New York
Location of Irvington, New York
Country United States
State New York
County Westchester
Town Greenburgh
 • Total 4.0 sq mi (10.5 km2)
 • Land 2.8 sq mi (7.2 km2)
 • Water 1.2 sq mi (3.2 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 6,420
 • Density 1,600/sq mi (610/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 10533
10503 (Ardsley-on-Hudson)
Area code(s) 914
FIPS code 36-37803
GNIS feature ID 0953803
Website .gov.irvingtonnywww

Irvington, sometimes known as Irvington-on-Hudson, is an affluent suburban village in the town of Greenburgh in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is located on the eastern bank of the Hudson River, 20 miles (32 km) north of midtown Manhattan in New York City, and is served by a station stop on the Metro-North Hudson Line. To the north of Irvington is the village of Tarrytown, to the south the village of Dobbs Ferry, and to the east unincorporated parts of Greenburgh, including East Irvington. Irvington includes within its boundaries the community of Ardsley-on-Hudson, which has its own ZIP code and Metro-North station, but which should not be confused with the nearby village of Ardsley, New York.

The population of Irvington at the 2010 census was 6,420.[1]

The village's Main Street area has been designated an historic district by New York State and, as of 2013, is under consideration for addition to the National Register of Historic Places.[2] In 2010, Westchester Magazine ranked Irvington as the "Best Place to Live in Westchester".[3]


  • History 1
    • American Revolution 1.1
    • A change of name 1.2
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics 3
  • Economy 4
  • Government and politics 5
    • 2005 mayoral election 5.1
  • Education 6
  • Religion 7
  • Local media 8
  • Points of interest 9
  • Quality of life 10
    • Parks and recreation 10.1
    • Restaurants 10.2
  • Notable people 11
  • In popular culture 12
  • See also 13
  • References 14
  • External links 15


Before the area where Irvington is now located was settled by Europeans, it was inhabited by the Wickquasgeck Indians, a band of the Wappingers, related to the Lenape (Delaware) tribes which dominated lower New York state and New Jersey.[4][5]

After the Dutch came to the area, the land was part of the Bisightick tract of the Van der Donck grant purchased by Frederick Philipse in 1682, but in 1785, the state of New York confiscated the land from his grandson, Frederick Philipse III, after he sided with the British in the American Revolution, and sold it to local patriot farmers who had been tenants of the Phillipse family. This is presumably how part of it came to be the farm of William Dutcher.[5] Dutcher sold half of his farm to Justus Dearman in 1817, who then sold it to Gustavo F. Sacchi in 1848 for $26,000. Saachi sold the parcel to John Jay – the grandson of the American Founding Father by the same name[2] – that same year, and Jay laid it out as a village which he called "Dearman", after Justus Dearman,[2] and sold lots at auction in New York City starting on April 25, 1850.[5]

The organization of the streets into a right-angled grid pattern was criticized by Andrew Jackson Downing, who was at the time the foremost expert on landscape design. Downing condemned the use of the street grid outside of cities and saw the hilly and heavily wooded site of Dearman as particularly suited to his own theories, which called for curvilinear roads and irregular lots which followed the contours of the land. With the frequent steamboat, stagecoach, and train transportation available, he felt that Dearman could have been an ideal suburb, instead of "mere rows of houses upon streets crossing each other at right angles and bordered with shade trees".[6]

The side streets off the village's Main Street – or "Main Avenue", as an 1868 map has it – were originally designated "A", "B", "C", and so forth, but are today named after many of the area's early settlers,[7] such as Barent and William Dutcher, Captain John Buckhout (who lived to 103) and Wolfert Ecker (or "Acker").

American Revolution

Wolfert Ecker's house, then owned by Jacob van Tassel, was burned by the British in the Battle of Long Island, and, later, British troops camped nearby, putting Jonathan Odell into custody in the Old Dutch Church in Tarrytown.[8][9][10] No major battles of the Revolutionary War were fought in the area, only minor skirmishes between residents and soldiers.[11]

With the capture of New York City by the British, Irvington and the rest of southern Westchester County became the "Neutral ground", an unofficial 30-mile (48 km) wide zone separating British-occupied territory from that held by the Americans, and the people of the area who remained – many of the Patriot population had fled – traded with both sides to great profit. However, there was also a great deal of pillaging and plundering, even of Tory households, both by the regular British army and loyalist militias and irregulars, all in the name of hunting down rebels.[12] By the time the war was over, the countryside had been ravaged:

The country is rich and fertile, and the farms appear to have been advantageously cultivated, but it now has the marks of a country in ruins, a large portion of the proprietors having abandoned their homes. On the high road where heretofore was a continuous stream of travelers and vehicles, not a single traveler was seen from week to week, month to month. The countryside was silent. The very tracks of the carriages were grown over with grass or weeds. Travelers walked along bypaths. The villages are abandoned, the residents having fled to the north, leaving their homes, where possible, in charge of elder persons and servants.[13]

Eventually, the area recovered and continued to develop. The Hudson River Railroad reached the settlement by 1849; the first passengers on a regularly scheduled run through the village paid fifty cents to travel from Peekskill to Chambers Street in Manhattan on September 29, 1849.[14] By 1853, a ferry ran across the Hudson from Dearman to Piermont on the west bank, the village had a population of around 600, a hotel, six stores and around 50 houses, and the hamlet of "Abbotsford" – which would later become Ardsley-on-Hudson – was forming along Clinton Avenue.[5][11]

A change of name

In 1854 the village changed its name, by popular vote, to "Irvington", to honor the American author Washington Irving, who was still alive at that time and living in nearby "Sunnyside" – which is today preserved as a museum.[15] Influential residents of the village prevailed upon the Hudson River Railroad, which had reached the village by 1849,[11] to change the name of the train station to "Irvington", and also convinced the Postmaster to change the name of the local post office as well. It was thus under the name of "Irvington" that the village incorporated on April 16, 1872.[16][17][18]

The Irvington waterfront between 1859 and 1889, showing the Lord & Burnham Building on the right

By the census of 1860, the population of the village was 599.[19] A few years later, in 1863, Irvington was touched by the New York Draft Riots. Fearing that the violence in the city, which had to be put down by Federal troops, would spread to Westchester, special police were brought in and quartered in a schoolhouse on Sunnyside Lane. They were commanded by James Hamilton – the third son of Alexander Hamilton – whose estate, Nevis, was on South Broadway. The presence of this special force deterred any violence a group of draft protestors which passed through Greenburgh on their way to Tarrytown may have intended. This was the only instance in which Civil War-related activity directly affected Irvington.[20]

With convenient rail transportation now available, the village's cool summer breezes off the Hudson and the rural riparian setting began to attract wealthy residents of New York City – businessmen, politicians and professionals – to the area to buy up farms and build large summer residences on their new estates, setting a pattern which would hold until the early 20th century.[21] Still, the village continued to expand, with various commercial enterprises opening along the waterfront. Pateman & Lockwood, a lumber, coal and building supply company, opened in the village in 1853, and Lord & Burnham, which built boilers and greenhouses, in 1856. Both expanded to newly-created land across the railroad tracks, in 1889 and 1912 respectively, and the Cypress Lumber Company opened on a nearby site in 1909.[22] Nothwithstanding this commercial activity, for many years, through the 19th and early 20th centuries, Irvington was a relatively small community surrounded by numerous large estates and mansions where millionaires, aristocrats and captains of industry lived – the population was reported as 2,299 in 1890 and 2,013 in 1898. Many of the estates and mansions are now gone, having been replaced by suburban sub-divisions, although a small number still exist, but Irvington still has many large houses, and is still an overwhelmingly well-heeled community.[5][17]


Irvington is located at (41.034371, -73.865471).[23]

The village has a total area of 4.0 square miles (10 km2),[24] of which 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) or about 1,850 acres (750 ha)[25] is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2), or 30.94%, is water.[24]

Ventilator #16 on the Old Croton Aqueduct Trailway

The village's main thoroughfare is Broadway (Route 9) originally an Indian footpath which gradually became a horse track and then a dirt road. It came to be called the "King's Highway" around the time that it reached Albany. Later, it was called the "Queen's Highway", after Queen Anne, the "Highland Turnpike" after 1800 – a name still preserved in the nearby town of Ossining – the "Albany Post Road" and, after 1850, "Broadway".[11] The stretch that runs through Irvington was completed by 1723.[5] During his tenure as Postmaster General, Benjamin Franklin had 3-foot-high (0.91 m) sandstone milestone markers placed along the Broadway, inscribed with the distance from New York City. Milestone #27 is still in place in Irvington, near the driveway to 30 South Broadway.[11]

Broadway runs north-south parallel to the river, and connects Irvington to Dobbs Ferry in the south and Tarrytown in the north. All of the village's major streets, including Main Street, extend east and west from Broadway, and are designated as such. Broadway is designated "North Broadway" above Main Street, and "South Broadway" below it. Main Street begins at the Metro-North train station, just off the Hudson River, and travels uphill to Broadway. Side streets off of Main, which were originally designated A Street, B Street, C Street, etc. when the village grid was laid out, now have names, most of which come from local history: Astor, Buckhout, Cottenet, Dutcher, Ecker, Ferris and Grinnell.

The southbound Saw Mill River Parkway can be reached via Harriman Road/Cyrus Field Road, past the village reservoir, or East Sunnyside Lane/Mountain Road through East Irvington. The northbound Saw Mill and the New York State Thruway are accessible via Ardsley, and the Tappan Zee Bridge is nearby in Tarrytown.

Commuter train service to New York City is available at the Irvington and Ardsley-on-Hudson train stations, served by the Metro-North Railroad of the MTA. Bus service is provided on Broadway by the Westchester County Beeline Bus System via route #1T (The Bronx-Yonkers-Tarrytown) and #1W (The Bronx-Yonkers-White Plains).

As with all river communities in Westchester, Irvington is traversed by a stretch of the old Croton Aqueduct, about 3 miles (4.8 km) long, which is now part of the Old Croton Trailway State Park. The Aqueduct is a National Historic Landmark.


Life-size bronze of Rip Van Winkle sculpted by Richard Masloski   © 2000

As of the census of 2000,[24] there were 6,631 people, 2,518 households, and 1,812 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,377.4 people per square mile (917.7/km²). There were 2,601 housing units at an average density of 932.5 per square mile (359.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 88.66% White, 1.45% African American, 0.11% Native American, 6.95% Asian, 1.16% from other races, and 1.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.79% of the population. 18.1% were of Italian, 17.3% Irish, 7.3% German and 5.9% Russian ancestry according to Census 2000. 88.0% spoke English, 4.2% Japanese, 3.6% Spanish, 1.8% Italian and 1.0% German as their first language.

There were 2,518 households out of which 37.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.2% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.0% were non-families. 24.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the village the population was spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 3.9% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.5 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $96,467, and the median income for a family was $120,895. Males had a median income of $85,708 versus $50,714 for females. The per capita income for the village was $59,116. About 1.2% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 0.9% of those age 65 or over. The average cost for a one-family house in 2010 was $585,780, below the Westchester County average of $725,000,[3] although in 2009 the median home price was reported to be $790,000.[28]

As of 2013, according to the Town of Greenburgh's assessor's office, the village had 1,182 singe-family homes, as well as 103 homes for two families, 12 for three families and an additional 344 multi-families buildings, both co-ops and condos and some rentals. Legend Hollow, the village's one housing development, was constructed in the 1990s and has 69 large houses on lots of a half acre or larger. The Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service reported that the median sale price for a single-family home was $1.080 million, up from $790,000 in 2008. Co-ops went from $223,000 to $263,000 and condos went down from $592,000 to $549,000.[2]


Although Irvington is still a suburban "bedroom community", with a large number of people commuting into New York City to work, there are also several notable businesses and institutions located in the village, such as:

  • Columbia University's Nevis Laboratories is a research center specializing in the preparation, design, and construction of high-energy particle and nuclear experiments and equipment which are transported to accelerators such as Fermilab, CERN and Brookhaven National Laboratory. The resulting data is analyzed at Nevis using their extensive computer systems. Twelve faculty members, fourteen postdoctoral research scientists and twenty graduate students work at the lab, along with an engineering and technical staff of twenty.[29]
  • Eileen Fisher, a clothing design company, has corporate offices and a retail shop at Bridge Street Properties by the Hudson.
  • Flat World Knowledge is an online publisher of college-level open textbooks.
  • The Foundation for Economic Education was founded in 1946 by Leonard E. Read to study and advance his philosophy: the sanctity of private property, individual liberty, the rule of law, the free market, and the moral superiority of individual choice and responsibility over coercion. FEE is located on a rambling seven-acre 19th-century estate on South Broadway with a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) main building, the "Big House", with offices, library and archives, classroom, a commercial kitchen, a formal dining room, a large reception lounge, and a men's dormitory. Women stay in the Carriage House dormitory, next to the main building.[30]
  • House Party, an experimental marketing firm which specializes in arranging parties to promote their clients' products,[31] has its offices at 50 South Buckhout Street.[32]
  • MELA Sciences is a medical device company that focuses on the design and development of a non-invasive, point-of-care instruments to assist in the early diagnosis of melanoma. In July 2015, the company acquired PhotoMedex Inc. and is planning to relocate its headquarters to Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.[33]
  • Monte Nido Treatment Center, a residential treatment center for eating disorders, was announced in May 2014 to be planned for Irvington. It would be located in a 10,000 square foot, 20-room mansion at 100 South Broadway near Clinton Avenue. The organization has residential facilities in Malibu and Agoura Hills in California and in Boston, as well as a day-clinic in New York City.[34]
  • The Student Center, a community website for teenagers and college students, has offices on Main Street.[35]
The Irvington section of an 1868 map of Hastings, Dobbs Ferry and Irvington, with the village surrounded by the large estates and summer homes of the rich. Note that Main Street is called "Main Avenue".
Expand this map / Full map

Government and politics

Irvington is governed by a Mayor, who is elected every two years in odd-numbered years, and four Trustees, who also serve two year terms. Two of the Trustees are elected in odd-numbered years with the Mayor, and the other two in even-numbered years. Each year, the Mayor appoints one of the Trustees to be Deputy Mayor. A paid Village Administrator is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the village, assisted by a Clerk-Treasurer. The administration is divided into eleven departments:[36]

In addition, the Mayor and Board of Trustees are assisted in the governance of the village by a number of voluntary boards and committees:

Irvington is protected by its own 22-person police department, along with a volunteer fire department and volunteer ambulance corps, all of which are located on Main Street. Irvington's government communicates with the village's citizens through a newsletter, e-mail notifications and the village website.

2005 mayoral election

The controversial 2005 Irvington mayoral election was held on March 15, 2005, but was not decided until October 27, 2005. The race between Republican incumbent Dennis P. Flood and Democratic challenger Erin Malloy ended up being decided "by lots", as required by New York state law when a village election is tied (847 votes for each candidate).

The count that took place on election night gave Flood a one-vote lead. On March 18, the Westchester County Board of Elections recounted the votes, giving Malloy a one-vote lead. Turning to two unopened absentee ballots, the board found that one was for Flood, resulting in a tie. The other absentee ballot was not opened as the name on the envelope did not match any names on the voter-registration list. Susan B. Morton, who had registered to vote as Susan Brenner Morton, stepped forward three days later and demanded that her vote for Malloy be counted. For several months afterward, various suits, motions, and appeals were filed in state courts. On October 20, the Court of Appeals, New York State's highest court, denied requests by Malloy and Morton, leaving the election in a tie. To comply with state law, the village had to use random lots to decide the winner.

State law does not specify the method of drawing lots, so the village opted to draw quarters from a bag. Eight quarters were used. Four had a bald eagle on the back and represented Malloy. Flood was represented by four quarters with the Statue of Liberty on the back. Village Trustee/Deputy Mayor Richard Livingston, a Republican, drew a quarter from the bag. It was handed to Village Clerk Lawrence Schopfer, who declared Flood to be the winner. Flood was then sworn in for his sixth two-year term as mayor of Irvington.[38]

Months later, to complicate the situation even more, it was learned that an Irvington resident who has two houses and was registered to vote in both Irvington and a Long Island suburb, inadvertently broke the law by voting in both elections, although his intent was to cancel his Irvington voter registration. He was an adamant supporter of Flood.[39]

Erin Malloy was elected mayor in the election of 2007, but resigned in 2008 to spend more time with her injured daughter.


Primary and secondary schools

Irvington is part of the Irvington Union Free School District, which also includes East Irvington, an unincorporated area of the Town of Greenburgh, and the Pennybridge section of Tarrytown, Irvington's northern neighbor. The schools are Dows Lane School (K-3), Main Street School (4&5), Irvington Middle School (6-8), and Irvington High School (9-12). The Middle School and High School are sited together on a combined campus on Heritage Hill Road off of North Broadway, on the site where the Stern castle, "Greystone", once stood. Stern purchased the property from Augustus C. Richards in the late nineteenth century.[40]

The school system, the student population of which was around 1,900 in 2013,[2] is known for its small class size and emphasis on academics; and about 98% of graduates go on to higher education.[17][18] In 2012, the average SAT scores were 571 (reading), 583 (math) and 573 (writing), compared to the statewide averages of 496. 514 and 488, and 74.7 percent of fourth grade students met state standards in English, and 66.1 percent in math, compared to statewide averages of 30.3 and 36.3 percent.[2]

In 2015, U.S. News & World Report rated Irvington High School as number 32 in New York State,[41] making it the ninth-best in Westchester.[42]

Located in Irvington, but not part of the regular public school district, was the Abbott School, which served homeless, neglected, abused, or developmentally disabled boys in grades 2 through 9. The students came both from the residential Abbott House, where the school was located, and as day students from community schools in Westchester County, Rockland County, and New York City. The school graduated its last class in 2011, and as of 2013 legislation is pending to dissolve the special school district, and the 15-acre property is listed for sale. Abbot House's administrative offices remain in the former school building in Irvington.[43]

The Immaculate Conception School, a Catholic elementary school located in Irvington, was closed by the Archdiocese of New York in June 2008, after 100 years of existence.[44][45] In the 2009-2010 school year, John Cardinal O'Connor School, a Catholic non-denominational school for students in grades 2 through 8 with learning disabilities, which had formerly been St. Ursula's Learning Center in Mount Kisco, moved into the vacant building.[46][47]


There are no colleges located in Irvington, although Columbia University does maintain its Nevis Laboratories there. In 1890, Mary F. Bennett founded Bennett College in the village, but in 1907 it moved to Millbrook in Dutchess County.[48] In that same year, Marymount College was founded in Tarrytown, north of the village. It later became a campus of Fordham University, but closed in 2007. Today, Mercy College, founded in 1950, is located just south of Irvington in Dobbs Ferry, very close to Irvington's Ardsley-on-Hudson train station.


Irvington has four Christian churches. Three of them, the Irvington Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian), the Immaculate Conception Church (Roman Catholic) and The Church of St. Barnabas (Episcopal), are clustered together on Broadway, just north of Main Street. The Calvary Chapel of Westchester (Evangelical) is located in the Trent Building on South Buckhout Street.

The Jewish community of Irvington is served by three nearby synagogues: the traditional/non-denominational Chabad of the Rivertowns, the conservative Greenburgh Hebrew Center in Dobbs Ferry and the dual reform/conservative synagogue Temple Beth Abraham in Tarrytown. Irvington itself features a "chavruah," or member-led Jewish congregation that follows in the conservative tradition, known as Rosh Pinah Chavruah of the Rivertowns.

Irvington is home to a number of members of the Unification Church, including several high-ranking families. There are several Church-owned estates and buildings located in Irvington and in the neighboring village of Tarrytown. Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Church and its spiritual leader, has a large private residence with an estate of 17.67 acres (7.15 ha),[49] the former Frederic Clark Sayles estate, on East Sunnyside Lane.[50][51]

Local media

From 1912 to 1998, Irvington's daily newspaper was the Tarrytown Daily News.[52][53] In 1998, the Gannett Company, the last owner of the newspaper, folded all their area local papers, including the Daily News, into The Journal News, which serves Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, an area also referred to as the Lower Hudson Valley.

In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the village was also served by the Irvington Gazette, a weekly newspaper which was published on Aqueduct Street. Currently, the Rivertowns Enterprise, a weekly newspaper, reports on local government, schools, sports, arts and business in Irvington, Hastings-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, and Ardsley. The newspaper began publishing in 1975. The Hudson Independent is a monthly free newspaper begun in 2006[54] which serves Irvington, Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, an area also covered by the River Journal, an online news site.

Points of interest

  • Church of St. Barnabas (1853) - A stone Gothic building listed on the National Register of Historic Places (2000), the cornerstone of St. Barnabas was laid on May 29, 1853. It was originally intended as a chapel and school, and was designed by the Reverend Dr. John McVickar, a professor at Columbia College and the General Theological Seminary and friend of Washington Irving – his son, William McVickar, was the church's first rector. The building was constructed from stone quarried on the former Rutter estate across Broadway, where the "Fieldpoint" development is now located. In the early 1860s the building was enlarged to become a parish church, to plans produced by the firm of Renwick and Sands. (James Renwick, Jr. was the architect who would design the Irvington Presbyterian Church which stands next to St. Barnabas.) The "Lich Gate" entryway dates from circa 1896, and was designed by A. J. Manning, who later designed the Irvington Town Hall. The gate is made of solid oak on a stone foundation, and was a memorial to Mrs. H. B. Worthington.[61][62] (North Broadway, north of Main Street)
  • Cosmopolitan Building (1895) - This three-story stone neo-Classical revival building topped by three small domes was designed by Stanford White as the headquarters for Cosmopolitan when the magazine moved from New York to Irvington. John Brisben Walker, who had bought the general interest magazine in 1889, had a mansion in Irvington only a short walk away. In 1897 Walker started a free correspondence school, the Cosmopolitan Educational University Extension. When 20,000 people enrolled, Walker was unable to keep to its offer of a no-cost education for all, and had to ask the students to pay $20 per year. Nevertheless, the venture attracted well-known academics to its staff, and public lectures and other events associated with the school were held in the headquarters building. The magazine also sponsored several automobile races from New York to Irvington to promote the automobile. Cosmopolitan left Irvington shortly after William Randolph Hearst bought the magazine in 1905 and moved it back to New York. Afterwards, the building was used as a silent movie studio for some period of time, but for most of its subsequent history has primarily housed manufacturing concerns of various types, including one that made radio oscillators used by the U.S. Army in World War II, and a company that made looseleaf binders and other paper products.
The Cosmopolitan Building still stands, although it is known as the "Trent Building" after the family that owns it, but it is quite run down, and its visage has suffered from pedestrian industrial buildings which were stuck onto its rear, obscuring the eastern facade. The building houses manufacturers, offices, a video production facility, a publisher of art books, interior design firms, a yoga studio, a chapel, photographers, a spa, a florist and event space and at least one restaurant.[8][63][64][65] (50 South Buckhout Street)
  • East Irvington Public School (1898, 1925) - Built as a one-story school house for the community of East Irvington, the building was expanded to two stories in 1925, and remained in active use as a school until 1970. East Irvington, an unincorporated area of the town of Greenburgh which is part of the Irvington School District, but not of the Village of Irvington, had been known as "Dublin" due to the number of Irish immigrant workers living there, many of whom worked at the nearby quarry. The building was converted to condominiums in 1983, when it was also placed on the National Register of Historic Places. A similar school is located in the section of Tarrytown known as "Pennybridge", which is also part of the Irvington School District.[66]
  • Halsey Teahouse (1905) - A. J. Manning was commissioned by oil and cotton magnate Melchior Beltzhoover to build an exact replica of a Rhineland castle. The building, called "Rochroane", was sold to Benjamin Halsey in 1927 and renamed "Grey Towers", but was abandoned in 1976, and it burned down the next year (the exterior was stone, but the interior was wood). The "Halsey Playhouse" or "Teahouse", which was restored in 1997, is the last remnant of the forty-four room castle, except for a Tiffany landscape window now in the Corning Museum of Glass. It has two floors, and an open hexagonal tower with gothic-arched windows, and there is a walkway and stone bridge around Halsey Pond, which the structure overlooks. Vestiges of a fountain, dam, and other structures can be seen in the nearby woods.[67][68][69] (Halsey Pond Lane)
  • Hermit's Grave (1888) - Johann W. Stolting was a native of Heligoland who lived deep in the woods of Irvington as a hermit in the 19th century. He slept in his coffin, made of local chestnut wood, in a cabin overlooking the Saw Mill River valley. Stolting made his own clothes, wore sandals for shoes, but never wore a hat. He survived by selling wooden buttons made on a homemade foot-powered lathe. He died in 1888 at the age of 78, and his grave is only a few hundred feet west of the Saw Mill Parkway – the only marked grave in Irvington. The grave is reachable by a marked trail (the blue and white blazed "HG" trail) that begins at the north end of the village reservoir.[67] (trail head at Fieldpoint Road)
  • Hillside (1889) - Built in 1889 for medical doctor[70] Carroll Dunham, the Colonial Revival[11] mansion house was designed for 34 rooms with 16 fireplaces, gables and bay windows, a large staircase, walls of mahogany panelling, and glass designed by Irvington resident Louis Comfort Tiffany.[11] The grounds were designed by Charles Eliot, who also planned the Boston park system with later alterations by Frederick Law Olmsted, the co-creator of New York City's Central Park.[71] The estate was sold shortly after Dunham's death in 1923[11] to Gordon Harris, the son of American Tobacco Company founder[72] William R. Harris. Gordon Harris, then Vice President[72] of the United States Lines shipping company, and his family lived on the estate until 1946[72] A caretaker maintained the estate until it was sold to Leonard Read.[11] Reed used the estate to house his Foundation for Economic Education.[11]
  • Irvington Town Hall (1902) - The Irvington Town Hall, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, is built on land deeded to the village before the turn of the 20th century by the Mental and Moral Improvement Society of Irvington, which required that the building must have in perpetuity a reading room, and also specified that it have a public hall. The brick, stone and terra cotta building, which is called a "Town Hall" despite Irvington being only a village, was designed by Alfred J. Manning and cost $150,000 to build. The library was to replace the short-lived Irvington Free Library (later the "Atheneum") which began in the local "little red schoolhouse". The new library, which opened in 1902, was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, with Tiffany-glass lighting fixtures. The furnishings were donated by Helen Gould, the daughter of Jay Gould, and Frederick W. Guiteau (uncle of Charles J. Guiteau, who assassinated President James Garfield) paid for the books with a $10,000 endowment[75] which he originally intended to bequeath to it in his will.[76] Although in 2000 the library moved into the Burnham Building, a reading room, the "Tiffany Room", remains in the Town Hall, to fulfill the requirements of the deed.[77] In front of the Town Hall is a stone fountain memorial to Dr. Isaiah Ashton, the village physician who died in 1889. It was originally located on Broadway, where it was intended to be used to water horses.[11] A recently installed statue of Rip Van Winkle stands next to the Town Hall, on the grounds of the Main Street School. (Main Street at North Ferris Street)
  • Lord & Burnham Building (1881) - Lord & Burnham manufactured greenhouses – a splendid example of which can be seen at Lyndhurst, the estate of Jay Gould, in neighboring Tarrytown[78] – and boilers. The Burnham factory building, built in 1881 to replace a factory that burned down on the same site that year, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1999. It has been renovated and repurposed into residences and the new home of the expanded Irvington Public Library. Across the railroad tracks, the buildings of Lord & Burnham's expansion factory have been renovated and transformed into upscale commercial real estate buildings known as Bridge Street Properties, which houses around 60 different companies, retail stores, and restaurants.[75][79] (Foot of Main Street at the train station)
  • McVickar House (1853) - The McVickar House was built by Reverend John McVickar for his son, the Reverend William McVickar, the first rector of St. Barnabas Church. John McVickar's own house was on Fargo Lane, not far from Sunnyside, and it is said that Washington Irving enjoyed the view from John McVickar's house better than the one from his own. The backyard of the William McVickar house became the site of a Con Edison substation in 1957, and served as a doctor's office until 1984. The Village of Irvington acquired it in 2002, and it was restored and renovated to be the headquarters of the Irvington Historical Society, opening in November 2005 as the Irvington History Center. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places (2003).[80] (131 Main Street, between North Dearman and Broadway)
  • Nevis (1836) - Columbia University's Nevis Laboratories is located on a 60-acre (24 ha) property originally owned by James Alexander Hamilton, the third son of Alexander Hamilton. He called the estate, which was originally 124 acres (50 ha), "Nevis" after the Caribbean island which was the birthplace of the elder Hamilton. The Greek revival mansion James Hamilton built in 1836 is still standing on the grounds. The estate was given to Columbia in 1934 by Mrs. T. Coleman DuPont, of Delaware, "to make more satisfactory provision for its increasingly important work in landscape architecture and general horticulture." One early pamphlet remarked, "Nevis is one of the superb examples of historic and landscape architecture in America. No other country place north of Maryland so perfectly exemplifies the taste of the Early Republican Period in our history." The property contains an inventory of 2,640 trees and 1,928 ornamental shrubs.[29][81] (South Broadway)
  • Caen stone – a light creamy-yellow limestone quarried in northwestern France near the city of Caen, and brought to America as ballast in Cottenet's ships – to a design by the noted German architect Detlef Lienau. The house was built in two stages, the south entrance area first in 1853, and the north extension, which features a Lord and Burnham conservatory, in 1860. The house passed through numerous owners, including Cyrus Field, John Jacob Astor III and Amzi Lorenzo Barber. Nuits remains a private residence, albeit on 4.78 acres (1.93 ha) rather than the original 40-acre (16 ha) estate. Nuits, which is also known as the Cottenet-Brown House, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, and the house was restored between 1980 and 2000.[8][82][83] In May 2015 the house and property was listed for sale at the asking prive of $14.75 million.[84] (Hudson Road and Clifton Place, Ardsley-on-Hudson)
  • Odell's Tavern (1693) - The main part of the Odell-Conklin-Harmse Tavern, the oldest house extant in Irvington, is constructed of fieldstone, with walls that are four feet thick. It was built by Jan Harmse after he moved to the area from Long Island, and was converted to a tavern in 1742 Mathius and Sophia Conklin, a function it served until sometime in the 19th century. The "Convention of the Representatives of the State of New York" stopped there in April 1776, when Jonathan Odell was the proprietor, on their way out of New York City when the British occupied it, and discussed General Washington's defeat at the Battle of Long Island. In 1989, the Village of Irvington had the opportunity to purchase for $5.5 million the 10.5-acre (4.2 ha) Murray-Griffin property that includes the Tavern, as well as 19th century barn and carriage house and a 23-room four-story Bedford stone house built in 1938, but did not. The Tavern, which in 2006 was reported as having undergone a recent restoration using artisans from Lyndhurst, is now part of a private residence and is not open to the public.[5][18][74][85][86][87] (South Broadway at West Clinton Avenue)
  • Shadowbrook, an estate located at the corner of West Sunnyside Lane and Broadway just over the border from Tarrytown, has been the home of Irving Berlin the great American songwriter and jazz musician Stan Getz. It is a private residence and is not open to the public.
  • Station Road Tunnel (1837–1842) - At Station Road, west of Broadway, the Old Croton Aqueduct passes overhead in a large stone and earthwork viaduct, through which a single-lane tunnel was built to allow the road to pass through it.[88] (Station Road)
  • Strawberry Hill (1855, expanded c.1870s) - This stone mansion in Norman Victorian Gothic style was built by John Thomas and expanded by Edward Delano Lindsay for John Williams. Still a private residence as of 1995, it has pointed gables, turrets and large shuttered windows.[8][11] (North Broadway)
  • Town Hall Theater (1902) - The theatre was designed to be a replica of Ford's Theatre in Washington, where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated,[74] and when completed in 1902 it was widely thought to be one of the best "opera houses" in the Hudson Valley. For decades the social life of Irvington revolved around the theatre, which hosted concerts, recitals, balls, cotillions, graduations, minstrel shows, auditions, political rallies and public meetings. However, it gradually fell into disuse and disrepair by the 1960s, being used only for occasional exhibitions and overnight "camping" by the local Boy Scout troops. In 1978 concerted citizen action started the ball rolling to completely renovate and revitalize the theater, and it re-opened in 1980, run by Irvington Town Hall Theater, Inc., a non-profit corporation under the auspices of the Town Hall Theater Commission, whose members are appointed by the mayor. Today, the Town Hall Theater presents a wide variety of events, including concerts, plays and musicals – as well as the "Best of Film" series begun in 2007 and an "All Shorts" film festival started in 2015[89] – in its 432-seat facility.[90] (Main Street at North Ferris Street)
  • Villa Lewaro (1917) - Among Irvington's famous residents was Madam C. J. Walker, America's first female millionaire. An African American woman, she made her fortune by developing a line of hair care products, creating a company with 20,000 sales agents, and by investing in real estate. In 1917, Madam Walker had a $250,000 country home built on Broadway in Irvington, designed by Vertner Woodson Tandy, the first registered African-American architect in New York State. She wanted the home to be an example for her people, "to see what could be accomplished, no matter what their background." The name Villa Lewaro was coined by Enrico Caruso, from the first two letters of each word in Lelia Walker Robinson, the name of her daughter, who later went by the name of A'Lelia Walker. A'Lelia Walker inherited the house, and occupied it until her death in 1931, when it was bequeathed to the NAACP which opted to take the proceeds from the sale of the house rather than assume the cost of taxes and upkeep during the Great Depression. The house became the Annie E. Poth Home, a retirement home for seniors operated by the Companions of the Forest, until the 1970s. The neo-Palladian-style mansion still stands today, and is again a private residence. Villa Lewaro is a National Historic Landmark.[91][92] (North Broadway at Fargo Lane)

Quality of life

In an October 2010 ranking of the "Best Places to Live", Westchester Magazine listed Irvington as #1, remarking that the village is:

Charming, quiet, green, with a darling Main Street, stunning river views, [and] a burgeoning dining scene ... this unassuming rivertown is pretty near perfect. ... [The village] scored the highest in our tally, getting a perfect 10 for safety and proximity to water ... a 9 for its schools ... and an 8 for its green space ... All in all, a great mix.[3]

Factors in which Irvington did not score well in this ranking were "Diversity" and "Property tax", both with a score of four out of ten, and "Housing cost", which earned a five.

In May 2015, the village released a report which indicated that its water supply exceeded the requirements laid down by the State of New York,[96][97] and later that year, it was reported that Irvington ranked #6 on a list of the safest places in New York based on FBI crime data.[98]

Parks and recreation

As of 2013 about a third of Irvington's land is undeveloped public land,[2] and, as of 2010, 23 percent of the land in Irvington is set aside for parks and recreation.[3] Three of Irvington's parks, Memorial Park (Dows Lane or Station Road), Matthiessen Park (Bridge Street off Astor Street), and Halsey Pond Park (Halsey Pond Lane), are open only to village residents with a permit, but others are accessible by the general public. The Irvington Parks and Recreation Department is located in the Isabel K. Benjamin Community Center on Main Street.[17][99]

Scenic Hudson Park
  • There are no public golf courses located in Irvington, but the Ardsley Country Club, a private club founded in 1895, is located in Ardsley-on-Hudson, which is part of Irvington. The Ardsley Curling Club is located on the grounds of the country club.
  • Westchester County's Everett Macy ParkV. is located in part in Irvington, along the Saw Mill River Parkway at the eastern side of the village boundaries. Created in 1926 and originally called "Woodlands Park", it was renamed for the scion of the Macy family who was Westchester's first Commissioner of Public Welfare and later became a local newspaper baron. The park has three distinct areas with slightly different atmospheres. One part, with an entrance in Ardsley (not Ardsley-on-Hudson) on Saw Mill Road, functions as a local park with ballfields, a playground, public toilets and picnic pavilion. Another, accessible by car only by the northbound lanes of the Saw Mill River Parkway, features the Great Hunger Memorial commemorating the Irish famine of 1845-1852 which drove many Irish immigrants to settle in Westchester. The area also includes Woodlands Lake, with fishing, ice skating, a recently-closed restaurant, access to the South County Trailway, and 500 feet (150 m) of the former Putnam Division Railroad. The final area is largely undeveloped. A county park permit may be required for some uses of the park.
  • Irvington Woods Hiking Trails - an extensive network of hiking trails, most of them fairly non-strenuous, criss-crosses the woods between Broadway and the Saw Mill River Parkway. Highlights of the area include the Irvington Reservoir and its associated watershed as well as the Hermit's Grave, the grave of a 19th century immigrant who called the woods his home.[100] (trailheads on Cyrus Field Road, Mountain Road, Fieldpoint Road, and East Field near Irvington High School)
  • The Old Croton Trailway State Historic Park and Trail, which runs along the Croton Aqueduct, traverses the village between Broadway and the Hudson River, and is a popular biking and jogging path. (west of Broadway)
  • Scenic Hudson Park is located on the river side of the railroad tracks, not far from the foot of Main Street. Pedestrians can use the underpass at the train station, while cars cross the tracks via Bridge Street. The park has ballfields, children's playgrounds, about a mile of flat walking paths, a boat launch and 4.5 acres (1.8 ha) of lawn. It is co-owned by the Village of Irvington and the Scenic Hudson Land Trust, Inc.[99] (Bridge Street at the river)


In 2009, Westchester Magazine named Irvington as the best place for "foodies" to live on the west side of Westchester County, although the article named only two restaurants in the village itself – Red Hat and Chutney Masala – as well as others in nearby Dobbs Ferry, Hastings and Tarrytown.[28] In 2013, the Sixty One Bistro opened at 61 Main Street,[101] and in November 2014, Wolfert's Roost – named after the original name of Washington Irving's Sunnyside estate – opened at 100 Main Street with an "exuberant" menu, which includes a 38-ounce steak for $129 that "looks like something Fred Flintstone might have slapped on the grill".[102] Also on Main Street is La Chinita Poblana, which also opened in 2014, a strong, un-"kitschy" Mexican restaurant decorated with paintings by Diego Rivera.[103]

Notable people

Sailboats on the Hudson at Irvington by Albert Bierstadt

Notable past residents

Notable past residents of Irvington include: John Jacob Astor III, the wealthiest man in America at the time; Amzi Lorenzo Barber, the asphalt king;[104] Albert Bierstadt, a noted landscape painter;[105] Chauncey M. Depew, President of the New York Central Railroad and a United States senator; Cyrus W. Field, who laid the first transatlantic telegraph cable; Frank Jay Gould, the philanthropist son of Jay Gould;[104] Frederick W. Guiteau and David Dows, who made their millions in grain commissions and railroads; Charles Lewis Tiffany the founder of Tiffany & Co., whose son, Louis Comfort Tiffany, designed the Tiffany glass which can be seen in the clock tower and lighting fixtures in the Town Hall and the stained glass windows in the Presbyterian Church; Madam C. J. Walker (see "Villa Lewaro" in Points of Interest above);[8] and Justine Bayard Cutting Ward, who developed the Ward method of music education.[104]

Jazz saxophonist Stan Getz also lived in Irvington – his estate, "Shadowbrook", is less than a mile from Washington Irving's home, at the intersection of Broadway and West Sunnyside Lane;[106][107] Getz's contemporary, jazz drummer and bandleader Mel Lewis (né Melvin Sokoloff) lived in nearby East Irvington.

Silent film and Broadway theatre actor William Black was born in Irvington,[108][109] as was Julianna Rose Mauriello, the star of the children's television series LazyTown. Actress Patricia Neal lived in Irvington for a while, and Ted Mack, for many years the host of Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour on television, was also a resident,[110] as was actress Joan Blondell and her husband for a time in the late 1940s and early 50's, movie producer Mike Todd[18] – and Blondell's children, including Norman S. Powell, adopted son of Dick Powell, went to Irvington's public schools.In the 1970s, actors Jack Cassidy and Shirley Jones, who were married, lived for a time in Irvington, along with their son Shaun Cassidy (but not David Cassidy, who no longer lived with the family by then). Shaun attended the Irvington Public Schools for a short time.[111][112] Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister, noted for his work on Inception and the Batman films of Christopher Nolan was raised in Irvington in the 1960s and 70s, attending the local schools.[113]

The Reverend Sun Myung Moon, head of the Unification Church, had a residence in Irvington at the time of his death.[49]

Notable current residents

Irvington is currently home to number of notable residents, including:[50][107] ABC News weatherman Storm Field; designer Eileen Fisher; Sesame Workshop co-founder Monica Getz;[18][107] jazz musician Bob James;[18] the "Sneaky Chef" Missy Chase Lapine;[114] singer Julius La Rosa;[18][107] choreographer Peter Martins;[107] writer Robert K. Massie; Fox News newscaster Jon Scott; television host Meredith Vieira;[115] and the acting couple Debra Winger and Arliss Howard.[107]

In popular culture

Films and television
The following films include scenes shot in Irvington:[116]

The village was also featured in a short comic film by Gary Weis broadcast on the January 17, 1976 episode of Saturday Night Live; it showed Buck Henry looking for Irvington's funniest person.[117]

Irvington was used as the location for a television commercial for the New York State Lottery (c.2009), featuring the character "Little Bit of Luck".[118]

Part of Clarence Day, Jr.'s family memoir Life with Father (1935), takes place in Irvington when the family lived there.[119]

See also



  1. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Irvington village, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 17, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Brenner, Elsa (October 1, 2013). "Irvington, N.Y., Nature, Near the Upper West Side".  
  3. ^ a b c d Brenner, Elsa (September 21, 2010). "Best Places to Live".  
  4. ^ The name of the Indian band has variously been spelled Wiechquaeskeck, Wechquaesqueck, Weckquaesqueek, Wecquaesgeek, Weekquaesguk, Wickquasgeck, Wickquasgek, Wiequaeskeek, Wiequashook, and Wiquaeskec. The spelling given here is one widely used for the original name of Broadway in lower Manhattan: "The Wickquasgeck Trail". The meaning of the name, however spelled, has been given as "the end of the marsh, swamp or wet meadow", "place of the bark kettle", and "birch bark country". See James Hammond Trumbull (1881), Indian Names of Places, Etc., in and on the Borders of Connecticut, With Interpretations of Some of Them Hartford
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Steiner, Henry. "A Quick Chronology of Irvington, New York in the Early Days". 
  6. ^  ), p.65
  7. ^ In order, from the river going up the hill along Main Street, the streets are Astor, Buckout, Cottenet, Dutcher, Ecker, Ferris and Grinnell, until the pattern is broken by Croton Place and Aqueduct Lane, followed by Dearman Street, the last side street before Broadway.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Adams, Arthur G. (1996). The Hudson River Guidebook (2, illustrated ed.). Fordham University Press.  
  9. ^ Steiner, Henry (2007-02-16). "Irvington's Patriot". River Journal Online. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  10. ^ Graff & Graff, pp.19-21
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Dodsworth (1995)
  12. ^   pp. 246-247, 254
  13. ^ Graff & Graff, pp.24-25
  14. ^ Lockwood, Wolfert Ecker in Graff & Graff, p.35
  15. ^ Although Sunnyside was considered to be part of Irvington (or "Dearman") at the time, the neighboring village of Tarrytown incorporated first in 1870, two years before Irvington, and when the official boundaries were drawn, the estate ended up in Tarrytown rather than Irvington, as did Lyndhurst, the estate of robber baron Jay Gould.
    "Just how the change in our northern boundary occurred I could never find out to my satisfaction. Some say this calamity happened over night, so to speak, when our officials were napping or away on vacation. But this I know, that fully a dozen of our most prominent citizens and their magnificent estates were suddenly taken from Irvington territory and the village boundary was moved to the center of Sunnyside Lane. ... The part that most saddened our hearts was the fact that Irving's home, "Sunnyside", for whom Irvington was named, no longer rests in the town in which he originally thought he lived." Jennie Black (quoted in Graff & Graff, pp. 54-56)
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  • Dodsworth, Barbara. The Foundation of Historic Irvington. Irvington, New York: Foundation for Economic Education, 1995
  • Graff, Polly Anne and Graff, Stewart (eds.) Wolfert's Roost: Portrait of a Village. Irvington, New York: The Washington Irving Press, 1971
  • Spikes, Judith Doolin and Leone, Anne Marie Then & Now: Irvington. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Press, 2009 ISBN 978-0-7385-6519-4

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