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Historical Wonders: 30th Annual Larchmont Historical Society House Tour

The 30th annual Larchmont Historical Society Tour presents its first “walking” House Tour—with visits to homes in Larchmont Park—along with several other “firsts.”

The House Tour is always one of the biggest events of the year, offering a chance to visit some of the most special homes and architecture in our area.

In this, the 30th annual house tour, LHS presents its first walking tour: “Celebrating Larchmont Park: The First Village Neighborhood,” on Sunday, May 15th, from 1-5 p.m. The tour will celebrate Larchmont Village’s first suburban development, Larchmont Park, with six homes opening their doors to the public.

Additionally, this is the first year that Westchester Cottage & Gardens has partnered with LHS, resulting in a pre-tour cocktail party, Saturday, May 14, from 6-8:30 p.m., at the former Larchmont Park residence of C. Paul Jennewein, on Serpentine Lane. The present owners, Lisa and Reiner Böhning, are hosting this pre-tour event, inviting the public to visit the great room and garden, and attend a short lecture about Jennewein, the celebrated American sculptor whose work graces Larchmont as well as Rockefeller Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“This tour is important because it illustrates how, as the 20th century began, Larchmont experienced a demographic shift, a pattern that was reflected throughout Westchester—the creation of the ‘Village Neighborhood,’” says LHS president Colette Rodbell.

With the advances of railway lines, Larchmont—which began as a summer resort colony for New York City’s wealthy—became more accessible to the middle class and helped fulfill the American dream of affordable home ownership.

The Larchmont Park development was begun in 1903. It comprises roughly 80 acres of land north of the Boston Post Road and West of Beach and Larchmont Avenues in the area now called Pine Brook.  The main feature of this first residential development in the village was that it was not laid out in a strict grid format but, rather, in a curvilinear design that was made to follow the winding and sloping topography of the land. The main streets are Mayhew and Stuyvesant Avenues, as well as Serpentine Trail, which are all featured on this year's tour. The area is also defined by Palmer Avenue and the Boston Post Road.

Laura Hoffman, LHS House Tour Chair, says that Larchmont Park, “was called a ‘new, modern subdivision.’ It was developed with an eye to the surrounding landscape, where roads and homes were incorporated into the natural topography of cliffs, glacial boulders, and sloping curving hillsides.” Many of the houses have architectural styles ranging from Colonial Revival to Prairie and Craftsman. (House Tour tickets reveal the location of the homes.)

“Strolling through the 2011 House Tour, you can take in a simpler time of Larchmont life,” says Hoffman,  “when this style of family architecture was just beginning to take hold in our village and surrounding area, and creating some of our most visually diverse neighborhoods.”

Larchmont Historical Society’s Post-Tour Reception is at the Mamaroneck Artists Guild (appetizers and wine), from 3-6 p.m.

  • Tickets for the Cocktail Party, House Tour, and MAG Reception: $75 for LHS members; $95 for non-members. 
  • Tickets for the House Tour and MAG Reception: $45 for LHS members; $55 for non-members.  

Tickets can be purchased as follows:

  • Online 
  • By mail: Send a check made payable to the LHS, in a SASE business-size envelope to: House Tour Tickets, c/o LHS, PO Box 742, Larchmont, NY 10538.
  • At the Real Estate offices of Coldwell Banker, Houlihan Lawrence, Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s and Weichert.   

Katherine Ann Samon is the author of four books, including Ranch House Style, and is a trustee. Her column, "Historical Wonders," about important buildings, people, and events  in Larchmont and Mamaroneck, appears twice a month on Larchmont-Mamaroneck Patch. To learn more about the author, contact her at kathsam.aol.com, or visit www.katherineannsamon.com.

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