New Rochelle Heritage Awards Recognizes Three Historic Properties

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New Rochelle Heritage Awards Recognizes Three Historic Properties

June 08, 2011 - 19:58

2011 HeritageAwardThree historic properties were recognized in the fourth round of Heritage Awards, presented on Tuesday, June 7. The Soldier’s Monument, the Leonard Talner Building and the Daniel Webster Magnet Elementary School were chosen by a panel of judges with historic preservation expertise for their contribution to the continued preservation of the city’s historical and cultural heritage. A complete property list and description follows below.

This is the fourth annual Heritage Award presentation since the program’s formation in 2007 by the Heritage Task Force committee, created by Mayor Noam Bramson. The committee, comprised of residents qualified in historic preservation, local history and landscape design, developed the Heritage Award program to recognize the scores of New Rochelle properties that are important to the community’s extraordinary 300+ year history.

"We are delighted once again to recognize several properties whose distinctive charm, architectural significance, or exceptional design contributes greatly to the character and identity of New Rochelle,” said Mayor Noam Bramson. “Through these awards, we raise public awareness about our rich history, and help ensure that New Rochelle's heritage is valued by future generations."

Criteria for consideration included:

• Residences older than 50 years that are significant to New Rochelle’s history
• Public or quasi-public structures (e.g. house of worship, home of an organization, etc. ) older than 50 years that are significant to New Rochelle’s history
• Stellar restoration, residence
• Stellar restoration, adaptive reuse
• Home of nationally prominent individual
• Significant architect or architectural style
• Landscape or landscape feature (e.g. cemeteries, stone walls, signs; excepting gardens)

Heritage Awards have been presented as follows:

2008: the Israel Seacord House and the Leonard Seacord House, both sites of Seacord Family homesteads and farms, circa 1700’s; the Mayflower Hill House, circa 1911; St. John’s Wilmot Church, 1859; the New Rochelle Rowing Club, est. 1880; and Jefferson Elementary School, 1932.

2009: Clark-Berrian House, Mahlstedt House, The Arcade Building, Huguenot Yacht Club, “Blue Anchor”, Former Women’s Club of New Rochelle (Zion Baptist Church), and New Rochelle Fire Stations No. 4, 155 Drake Avenue; No. 3, 756 North Avenue; and No. 2, 170 Webster Avenue

2010: Old Flandreau Cemetery, Robert Mahlstedt House, the Howard Ware House, the Jacob Leisler Statue, Mahlstedt Lumber Company Building, Beauchamp Garden Apartments, and Isaac E. Young Junior High School.

New Rochelle Heritage Awards 2011

Soldier’s Monument
West Junction of Huguenot and Main Streets
1895 and 1896

“Every patriot can contribute his mite (sic) according to his means," appealed notices from the Flandreau Post following their April 27, 1895 meeting. “Every school child should give his nickel, every laborer his dollar; every man who cares to help put up this monument to the patriotism of a historic town should contribute." With these pleas, the Civil War veterans of the New Rochelle Grand Army Republic (GAR) Post raised the money to construct a long-awaited memorial to New Rochelle’s war veterans. On May 30, 1895, the base of the Soldiers Monument was dedicated, on a triangular piece of land at the west intersection of Main and Huguenot Street. The property was donated by the Presbyterian Church which was, until it burned in 1923, situated in back of the monument. The date of the dedication was particularly poignant. John Flandreau, the native son for whom the local Post was named, had been killed in the Battle of Bethesda Church on May 30, 1864. He was the only New Rochelle casualty in the Civil War. The monument was inscribed: “300 deceased veterans and the battles in which they fought - those of the Civil War, War of 1812 and Revolutionary War” “Tribute of New Rochelle to her loyal sons. Erected 1895. 1861 – 1865 One Flag, One Country, Union Forever."

The next year, on Memorial Day, another grand event was held to commemorate the placement of the stone and granite statue, which was manufactured Badger Brothers, Quincy, MA. As the New York Times headlined, “The Village in Holiday Dress Receives Her Many Visitors- Elaborate Parade Followed by Exercise at Which Gen. Butterfield and Gen. Sickles were Chief Speakers.” The article reported that “New Rochelle has seldom received as many visitors in a single day,” and detailed the long parade that had been organized by Isaac E. Young, Superintendent of Schools. The statue was unveiled by Miss Marie L. Cushing, a former New Rochelle teacher and daughter of Civil War hero Commander W. B. Cushing, U. S. Navy. Two Civil War cannons, acquired through congressional action, were placed at the foot of the monument, completing the site that would later be named “Roosevelt Park”.

Leonard Talner Building
565 Main Street

The building at 565 Main Street was among those constructed in the Art Deco style during the “boom” period of the 1920s. Completed in 1929, it replaced the wood-framed structure that had housed Scott’s Feed Store for decades. The new building contained several popular stores, including the small “Talner’s Jeweler’s” that was started by Leonard Italiano. He was one New Rochelle's premier jewelers - first working door-to-door and then in an upstairs store on Mechanic Street (now Division Street) as early as 1924. Despite his birth name, Italiano was one of New Rochelle's early Jewish shopkeepers. By the time he opened a small Main Street store near Centre Avenue, in 1928, he had changed his name to Leonard Talner.

Over the next four decades, various members of the Talner family, including cousin Arnold Heaps, managed the business. In 1960 Robert Talner and Heaps had purchased the store from the other Talner family members and began expansions. By 1962, they had enlarged the store by purchasing the adjacent hat store, dress shop and Fannie Farmer Candies. Through the years, Talner's gracious and accommodating service, distinctive and top-quality jewelry has attracted the likes of Tommy Manville, Theresa Brewer, Dennis James, Peter Lind Hayes, and other celebrities who made their homes in New Rochelle.

In 2007-2008, 565 Main Street underwent a significant restoration project that rejuvenated and preserved its original integrity: one that exemplifies the architectural style and construction of the Art Deco period, the predominate style of New Rochelle’s downtown business district. As one of the five buildings in the New Rochelle Model Development Block, 565 Main Street’s restoration project led to a 2009 Excellence in Historic Preservation Award by the Preservation League of New York State. The project was orchestrated by the New Rochelle Business Improvement District (the BID) with support of the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), working closely with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the architect (Susan Doban Architect), the contractor, and the building owners.

Daniel Webster Elementary School
95 Glenmore Drive

The Daniel Webster School was one of six New Rochelle Public schools constructed between 1926 and 1932 to accommodate the city’s enormous growth in population beginning at the turn of the 20th century. Like the other new buildings, this school was designed to harmonize with the architecture of the homes recently erected in the neighborhood, now known as Glenwood Lakes. It is considered a superb local example of Jacobethan Revival-style architecture, and reflects a Suffolk home built during Queen Elizabeth’s reign from 1558-1603. Designed by the prominent architectural firm of
Tooker and Marsh, New York City, the general contractors were Guidone and Bottino.