A haze of dust clouded the air on 734 E. Boston Post Rd. today while a bulldozing crew actively ground into rubble a mostly decimated mixture of rocks, bricks and boards from the , a Mamaroneck fixture for over 200 years.
The swift fate of the home was inevitable when the Rye Neck Board of Education—at a —announced that they had awarded a $104,908 bid to Yonkers-based Gaurito Contracting, Inc. to do the demolition.
Although the demolition was by a local group called the Concerned Citizens for the Preservation of Gedney Farmhouse—headed by a former resident of the home, Carol Akin—the movement failed to gain traction as few community members turned out at school board meetings to protest the home being torn down.
Akin sent out an e-mail to supporters today regretfully informing them that not only was the house torn down earlier than anticipated, but several items that were requested for salvage were not put aside.
“We and the Gedney family put in requests for a few things before demolition… After seeing the house was down, I called him [custodian at the school] Saturday evening and asked if anything was salvaged, but he said, ‘No.’ There should have been time to salvage parts of the house for the Gedney family which they'd requested. It didn't have to go down even earlier than we'd been told,” she said in the e-mail.
Since the farmhouse was purchased by the Rye Neck School District from Thomas and Mary Chaddock Fowler in 1953, it has served a variety of non-agrarian purposes including being utilized as space for a kindergarten, a female boarding school and administration. However, the years have taken their toll on the building. According to Rye Neck Superintendent Peter Mustich, it had become harder to find potential tenants due to antiquated heating and air conditioning systems. There is also no handicapped accessibility, he said, limiting the school’s ability to use the home.
Despite the standstill that the group came to with the school board, Akin urged the community not to give up on history.
“If the wrenching demolition of the Gedney Farm House awakens the Mamaroneck community to better appreciate and actively work to protect its other historic homes, the Farmhouse will not have gone down totally in vain.”