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Welcome to™my website designed for Victorian architecture lovers worldwide. This site contains hundreds of original photographs of Victorian homes taken during the latter part of the 19th and the very early 20th century. I have also tried to include descriptions of many of the homes' original owners to aid in an understanding of the personality that the home might have. In addition pictures of street scenes, waterfront activity, rail stations, events and first hand descriptions of life in general during this period are showcased. 
Virtually all images are scanned from my personal collection. Over almost four decades, I have amassed a historically significant collection of vintage postcards, long out-of-print books and pamphlets, advertisements, maps, documents and original early photographs. Almost all images source from the Yonkers, New York area, a virtual treasure trove of Victorian architecture and one of the most historic cities in America.
Today, many fine Victorian homes still remain in the area, although sadly a significant number have been altered or demolished over the years. It is encouraging, however, to see much preservation and restoration work in progress all over this beautiful city. In many cases, these architectural gems simply await an owner with the resources, vision, and commitment to preservation to peel off the layers of aluminum or vinyl siding that suffocate the hidden beauty underneath.
It is hoped that this website will be an invaluable tool for the restorer, historian, or lover of Victorian architectural detail and splendor. Or maybe if you live in the Yonkers, New York area, you might be surprised to see an early photograph of your own home on this site! Many have! You can visit   to purchase high quality images you see on this website or contact me directly via the links included in the links section of this site.
In restoring my own Victorian era residence and from my past tenure on the Yonkers Landmarks Preservation Board, I have come to know a number of truely knowlegable historians, preservationists including several passionate Realtors whom you can trust to show you some of the true Victorian Era gems that may be for sale. The realtors are listed on this site as well. Just so you know, I have listed them for free and there is nothing gained in return other than the satisfaction  and hope that the homes they sell will find a passionate new owner who values restoration. 
I have recently expanded the scope of the site to include reference to the Colonial era as represented by Philipse Manor Hall in Yonkers, as well as some post Victorian events of importance such as the incredible Hudson Fulton Celebration of 1909.
Now come sit back and enjoy an excursion into an era where craftsmanship, attention to detail and beauty reigned. Please let me know if you have enjoyed my site. I have included a guest book on the home page in addition to another guest book designed for comments on the "Then and Now" page. You can also follow on Twitter: VictorianSource
Now step back to a simpler time and explore this site.
You might want to first read about what one man recalled in 1922 about coming to Yonkers in 1876. You might also be interested in reading what one man said about preservation in an 1895 speech in Yonkers when the demolition of Philipse Manor was being strongly considered. You might also be fascinated by the events of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration of 1909 where more than 200,000 people were in Yonkers (at that time a city of less than 100,000) to witness the festivities. Just click on the links that follow here.
One final note, I have created this website for all to enjoy. Nothing prevents anyone from copying images and content, but if you do, please include a reference back to this site when you post it wherever, so that others might enjoy what has been created here. That is why I didnt include watermarks etc to take away from the photographs.
Please enjoy my website and feel free to comment or ask questions in the guest book sections. I promise I will respond.
Bob Piwinski
Site Owner and Webmaster
Local Historian
Former Member Yonkers Landmarks Preservation Board 

CLICK HERE for recollections of Yonkers in 1876

CLICK HERE for Thoughts About Preservation spoken in Yonkers in 1895

CLICK HERE for photos and details of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration of 1909 in Yonkers.

CLICK HERE for a FREE INSTANT DOWNLOAD of Yonkers Historic Design Guidelines Book published by the Yonkers Landmarks Preservation Board

A particulary insightful passage from the preface to The History of Yonkers by Rev. Charles Elmer Allison, 1896:


And another from the New York Times:

"We will probably be judged not by the monuments we build, but by those we have destroyed."

- New York Times Editorial, Oct. 30, 1963




A Guestbook for our Visitors.

We'd be honored if you leave us a comment and sign our Book:


This photograph was taken from the Lake Avenue Water Tower in 1900 providing a Victorian era "aerial" view. The beautiful Victorian home "Stone Gables" in the center located at 459 Palisade Avenue was owned by Theodore H. Silkman, a then prominent attorney. You can read his obituary from the New York Times below. Sadly today the site of Mr. Silkman's home is occupied by a condominium complex. The home at the bottom of the photograph as well as the home at the left still exist today. The one on the left is in beautiful restored condition. For perspective, the street that runs left to right is Palisade Avenue and the street that intersects it is Dudley Place. The orientation of this photograph is looking northwest.


The 1907 map below illustrates the position of Mr. Silkmans property on Palisade Avenue.



Some insight into the character of Mr. Silkman from a 1902 Article in the New York Times.







An Autumn view from John Bond Trevor's property circa 1880 from a StereoView Card. (Today it is the Hudson River Museum) Note the sailboat sailing the Hudson River. The exposure time for the photograph was relatively long and the sails movement caused the bluriness.  


In 1912 you could have bought this two family house in South Yonkers with $700 down. Note the Realtor's phone number has only 3 digits!



The beautiful Victorian Residence of Margaret T. Stone located at 27 Lake Avenue on the corner of Lake and Palisade Avenue. This photo dates to around 1901. Today there are two family homes on the property which was approximately a half acre. The home in the distance is still there today!


A fascinating article from the New York Times published in 1879 about a Yonkers man celebrating his 100th birthday who recalls meeting George Washington as a boy growing up in Yonkers.


390 North Broadway Yonkers photographed in 1901 - The Victorian mansion of James Renwick Brevoort
Noted Hudson River School Painter. Take a look at his obituary from the New York Times posted below the photo of his residence. You will note that the photos after these are of his next door neighbor's residence located at 352 North Broadway. 




352 North Broadway in Yonkers - The magnificent Victorian Mansion of John Craig Havemeyer photographed in 1901
This was the home of John Havemeyer in the early 1900's. He names his estate "Robin Lawn". You can read his 1922 obituary (below the photograph and map) from the New York Times for some insight as to who he was and what he did.




After the deaths of Havemeyer and Brevoort, The two mansions, Robin Lawn and The Glenwood lodge were purchased by a group of investors who built a covered walkway between them, added several stone buildings and created an upscale boarding establishment. Annie E. Lane was the director. Read this rare promotional brochure below which touts the beauty of the area and showcases rare interior photos of these now long gone gems. Sadly, in the 1950's a great fire consumed Robin Lawn. Today condominiums occupy the site.


The photo above is from the 1940's. A fire in the 195O's consumed the building and it was later torn town. 

This magnificent example of Victorian architecture is long gone. The site is now occupied by condominiums.

The rock wall and pillars remain to this day.

The Beautiful Victorian Residence of James Gage Beemer located at 170 Shonnard Terrace in Yonkers, New York. Photographed Circa 1900. He named it "Ridgemont" This stone home was built in the early 1880's and has seen several expansions that have given it a Castle like presence today. With priceless interiors from the 16th through 19th century imported from Europe including original Stained Glass by Tiffany and LaFarge, it is almost 9,000 square feet today. It has been magnificntly restored by its current owner, who has renamed it "Greystone Court". It is currently for sale. ( ) Read below about its first owner James Gage Beemer and all of his business and charitable associations. A Fascinating life. 


Map of 1907 showing 170 Shonnard Terrace

The Saegkill Golf Club Yonkers New York as it appeared early in the 20th Century. The Golf Club consisted of 22 acres and was located right across the street from what is now the parking lot to St. Johns Riverside Hospital on North Broadway. The Golf Club was also the stage for a fascinating story that played out in the Yonkers Courts in 1901 where a prominent citizen was arrested for playing golf on a Sunday! Read the story below.


The map above is from 1914. The location of the club house is clearly marked. The street running north/south is North Broadway. The clubhouse was located approximately where the Medical building and Chase Bank now stand at 984 North Broadway across the street from St. Johns Riverside Hospital. The map shows Duncraggan, the home of Ms. Thomas (Anna) Ewing. She was the daughter of Eva Cochran who when she died in 1909 inherited the estate. The property was later purchased by Samuel Untermeyer who expanded his estate. Interestingly the "Duncraggan" entrance pillars still stand today on either side of the bus shelter in front of the hospital!


The Victorian Residence of John Savage Hawley. Mr. Hawley was a highly successful businessman in the confectionary trade, a developer and another "Saint of Yonkers" who gave back to society in many important and selfless ways. After witnessing a tragic accident, in 1896 he established an industrial farm school for homeless wayward and neglected boys to teach them to become law abiding respectable citizens. (It still exists today) Together with Charles Harriman, he built the Harriman train station (Greystone) for the convenience of local residents. Below was his residence on Warburton Avenue. It is still in existence today!


The Forgotten History of Ridge Hill. Alexander Smith Cochran's Magnificent Gift of 110 acres plus a fully built hospital to the City of Yonkers in 1907.  Read this amazing yet so tragic story......



Above: The Bronze Plaque that once hung on the now demolished hospital wall. It has been promised by the developer that this plaque and its history will be memorialized within the new Ridge Hill Development.

The Magnificent Yonkers, NY Victorian Residence of E. Bright Wilson in 1905 located at 240 Van Cortland Avenue. Mr. Wilson was a prominent attorney in Yonkers. This home was built in 1896 in the Park Hill Section and today is in beautiful restored condition.


In 1901 the cost of a commutation ticket to manhattan was $5.10 a MONTH. The average time was 32 minutes, no different than today, time that is. There was even an option to have your own personal chair which you brought from home and the conductor kept for you in the car! All you needed to do was provide a yearly tip! Late in 1901 the railroad decided it could make money on the practice, so it caused an uproar by levying an extra $10 YEARLY charge for those who wanted their own personal chairs! (One has to wonder if we really have it better today!) Read the article below for more insight! Below the article is a photo of a New York Central Train departing the Yonkers Train Station in 1889!  



The beautiful Victorian Residence of Halcyon Skinner on the western side of Hawthorne Avenue (between Downing Street and Highland Avenue) in 1880. Halcyon Skinner was a brilliant inventor who revolutionized the carpet manufacturing industry and whose contributions resulted in the Alexander Smith and Sons Carpet Company of Yonkers eventually achieving the status of the World's largest carpet company. Read about his accomplishments below from a history published in 1899 a year before his death in 1900. Mr Skinner was struck and killed by a train crossing the tracks behind his property on his way to his boat. See his obituary from the New York Times below.




Yonkers resembles other cities in that some of its citizens, by reason of

political influence, or wealth, or fluency of speech, have attained prominence

for a brief time, and then have been forgotten. Among those whose distinction

is deserved, and not short-lived, is Halcyon Skinner. He came to

Yonkers in 1865, an unassuming stranger, neither wealthy nor college-bred,

in dress plain, in manners quiet, in disposition retiring, a man of more

thought than words; and those who met the unpretentious stranger did not

know that his labors here would prove such an important factor as they have

become in promoting the growth and prosperity of the town, and making it

famous at home and abroad as a center of one of the largest carpet industries

in the world; nor did they know that his great ability as an inventor would

materially increase the wealth of the country. Mr. Alexander Smith, his

friend and employer, appreciated his talent, and on more than one occasion,

notably when Messrs. A. T. Stewart & Company endeavored to secure his

services, he made such arrangements with him that Mr. Skinner remained_

with him.

The annals of Yonkers would be incomplete without a record of Mr.

Skinner's contributions of original thought to its development. His father,

Joseph Skinner, of New England, was an inventor and natural mechanic,

whose tastes turned him away from farming, to which he had been bred, and

influenced him to engage in mechanical pursuits. Halcyon Skinner's early

education was obtained in a log-cabin district school in Ohio, and subsequently,

when the family moved to Massachusetts, he attended school at

Stockbridge during several winters, working in summer for the neighboring

farmers, or for his father in the shop. His father's success in devising and

constructing machines for rapidly and efflciently forming the various parts of

violins, led him to the construction of a large machine for cutting veneers,

and one of his father's large machines for veneer-cutting was in use for some

years in Mr. Copcutt's mill, at West Farms, New York. In 1838 the family

moved to West Farms, where the father became foreman for Mr. Copcutt,

and the son worked with him in the mill. When the mill was destroyed by

fire, in 1845, Halcyon Skinner found work as a carpenter. He was then

twenty-one years old. In 1849, when Mr. Skinner was about twenty-five

years of age, Alexander Smith, who was owner of a small carpet factory at

West Farms, and who knew something about his mechanical skill, had a

conversation with him about a new method of dyeing yarns, in which he and

an assistant were interested. The carpet factory was not then in operation,

but Mr. Smith and Mr. John G. McNair were engaged in devising and

constructing some apparatus for parti-coloring yarns for ingrain carpets. Mr.

Smith desired Mr. Skinner to aid them. The object was to so dye different

parts of a skein of yarn that when woven into the fabric each color would

appear in its proper place in the design. If this could be accomplished the

striped appearance, which was a great objection in ingrain carpets, would be

avoided. The process required reels of a particular form and a special reeling

machine, also an apparatus for immersing parts of the skein in the dye

liquor accurately to a measured depth. Mr. Skinner overcame the difficulty

with which the experimenters had met, and devised a reeling machine and

dipping apparatus which proved to be efficient. A factory was built for manufacturing

the new style of carpet on a large scale, and Mr. Skinner became

the general mechanic of the factory. When his connection with the Alexander

Smith & Sons Carpet Company terminated, in November, 1889, he

had rendered Mr. Smith and his business successors a service of forty years.

Only those familiar with the history of carpet manufacture in the United

States and abroad can begin to realize what Mr. Skinner accomplished.

The carpet industry as he left it widely differed from what it was when he

became connected with it.


In 1855, when Mr. Smith spoke to him about the possibility of constructing

a loom for weaving Axminster carpet, that fabric was woven by a slow

and costly process of hand weaving. It seems that no attempt had ever been

made to weave it in any other way. Mr. Skinner at that time knew little or

nothing about power looms of any kind, and had not even seen a power loom

in operation for many years. His tools were few, as were the conveniences

with which he had to work. The invention of the Axminster loom was the

beginning of a new period in the art of carpet-weaving, because it first made

possible the production of this high-grade fabric by automatic machinery.

One operative with the new loom could easily produce as many yards per day

as seven or eight could produce by the best previously known method. The

weaving of tapestry ingrain by power was also considered to be impossible,

until Mr. Skinner devised machinery by which the work was efficiently done.

When looms for weaving tapestry Brussels were brought to Yonkers from

England and proved defective, Mr. Skinner designed a loom so superior that

eventually the number of yards of carpet produced by it was double the number

manufactured by the imported loom in the same time. The English

looms were sold for half what they cost to make room for the improved ones.

"When the English yarn-printing machines accompanying the looms were

found unsatisfactory, Mr. Skinner designed a new machine as much superior

to the old one as the new loom was to the imported loom. The printing

machines from England were broken up.


In 1874 he received from A. T. Stewart & Company an offer of a much

larger salary than he was receiving from the Smith Company, to enter their

service and take supervision of the mechanical department of the various factories

which they controlled. After careful consideration he decided to remain

in Yonkers, and made an engagement with Mr. Smith for a term of years.

Immediately after the engagement Mr. Smith broached to him the subject of

getting up a power loom for weaving moquette carpets. Mr. Skinner gave

his attention to the matter and made some experiments, but as much of his

time was taken up with planning buildings and other matters, it was several

years before much progress was made. In 1877 a patent was obtained

and half a dozen looms were built. Two of these were sent to England and

France, where several concerns were licensed to build and operate looms

under the patents which had been obtained in those countries, and he spent

a number of months there attending to the construction and starting of them.

In 1879 forty looms were built and put in operation by the Smith Company.

From that time the manufacture of moquette carpets increased as experience

and skill were acquired in operating the looms, and various improvements in

details were made, until one operator attending two looms can weave from

twenty-five to thirty times as much in a given time as could be woven by one

working by the best methods known previous to the invention of the moquette

power-loom. These and other very important inventions did not engross all

Mr. Skinner's attention. Much of his time was occupied in oversight of the

general mechanical work of the large factory, and in planning and superintending

the construction of the new buildings which the expanding business

required. Having reserved the right to use in looms for weaving body-Brussels

carpets the improvements which he had made in tapestry looms, Mr. Skinner,

in 1881, designed for the Bigelow Carpet Company, of Clinton, Massachusetts,

a loom for weaving that class of goods. He prepared working drawings, and

a loom was built at the works of the company, which proved so successful

that all the looms put in operation after that time were constructed after his

plans in preference to those previously designed by Mr. E. B. Bigelow, the

original inventor of the power looms for weaving body-Brussels carpets. Mr.

Skinner's rights in the subjoined list of patents were assigned to Mr. Alexander

Smith, or to the Alexander Smith & Sons Carpet Company:

I. Axminster loom; 2, Improvements on Axminster loom; 3, Improvements

on ingrain loom; 4, Improved tapestry loom; 5, moquette loom; 6,

Improvements on moquette loom; 7, moquette fabric (4 shot); 8, moquette

fabric (3 shot and 2 shot); 9, improved chenille carpet loom; 10, chenille (or

" fur ") loom.


When Mr. Skinner began working for Mr. Alexander Smith, in 1849,

the establishment consisted of one small wooden building, containing nineteen

hand-looms for weaving ingrain carpet. The looms were not then in

operation, but when in full work would turn out about one hundred and seventy-

five yards per day, making about a wagon load to be sent to New York

each week. The looms were all in use in the spring of 1850, when the new

method of dyeing had proved a success. When Mr. Skinner left, in 1889,

after a service of forty years, there was a series of large brick buildings, with

floor room to the extent of about three acres, all of which had been planned

by Mr. Skinner and erected under his supervision. These buildings contained

at that date nearly eight hundred power-looms, the more important and valuable

of which Mr. Skinner had invented and designed, and the remainder

of which he had so greatly improved that the production of each one of them

equaled that of two of those used previous to his improvements. About

thirty-five hundred operatives were employed in the various departments, and

the actual production of all kinds reached 9,217,000 yards per year. In

1892, three years later, the production had increased to 40,000 yards per

day, of which 15,000 yards were moquette, amounting to 4,500,000 yards

per year of that kind of carpet. In 1895 the number of looms of all kinds

had reached 930.


To show more fully the importance and value of the invention of the

moquette loom, it may be said that the production above mentioned (15,000

yards per day) would yield to the owners of the patents a royalty of twenty

cents per yard, amounting to nine hundred thousand dollars for the year,

besides a still larger amount in profits to the manufacturer. In addition to

this, the Hartford Carpet Company, in this country, and several companies

in England and France, were paying large amounts in royalties. The most

important result of the inventions of the moquette loom and auxiliary

machinery for preparing the materials is the reduction in the price of this

very desirable style of carpet from three or three and a half dollars per yard

to considerably less than one dollar, thus bringing it within the reach of all

who care to have a carpet of any kind. This difference in price, taking the

quality produced by the Smith Company alone (say 15,000 yards per day),

represents a saving to the consumer of nearly twelve million dollars a year.

The quantity produced by other companies would greatly increase this amount.

Notwithstanding the small cost of manufacturing this fabric, which was never

produced in this country before the invention of the loom, the daily wages of

the operatives are more than double those of the workers under former

methods. These statements help one to realize what Mr. Skinner has done

for Yonkers and for the country. Since leaving the Smith Carpet Company^

he has been engaged a considerable part of his time in designing and constructing a new moquette loom,

which has shown a capacity for greatly increased production and greater economy of material.

Having no interest in the royalties or profits derived from his former patents, he is at the present

time, at the age of seventy-two years, with the co-operation of a few

friends, making preparations for manufacturing carpets in the mill near Nepperhan avenue,

and at the east end of the Glen.


Mr. Halcyon Skinner's two sons are both inventors. In 1879 Charles

E. Skinner, who had worked with his father in constructing and putting in

operation the Axminster loom, and afterward on the moquette loom, studied

out some devices by which he thought moquette goods could be woven in a

way different from that in which the original loom operated. Not being a

practical weaver, he associated with himself Mr. Eugene Tymeson, who had

started many of the moquette looms at the Smith works, and was an expert

at that work. An experimental loom was built which gave good results, and

a patent was obtained. Arrangements were made by which the patent, with

several others afterward obtained, were transferred to the Smith Moquette

Loom Company, for the consideration of one hundred thousand dollars in

stock. Unfortunately for him the company did not prove a success and the

stock proved to be of no value, the property being transferred to the Alexander

Smith & Sons Carpet Company. His improvements were not put in

operation as a whole, but some of them were applied to the original moquette

loom, with the result of a considerable increase in production.

About 1881 Mr. Halcyon Skinner's second son, Albert L. Skinner, who

had been working for several years in the machine shop connected with the

Smith Works, a considerable part of the time on looms, thought he could

do something in the way of inventing a moquette loom. His ideas were

quite novel and gave promise of good results if properly carried out. He

made drawings of some devices embodying his ideas, and obtained a patent

for the same. He made arrangements with the Bigelow Carpet Company,

of Clinton, Massachusetts, and built a loom, which was put in operation at

their works. It proved very successful, and a large number of the looms

were built and have been profitably operated by the company ever since.


The 1893 Map below shows the location of his home. The residence is long gone and has been replaced by a park as noted in the picture below the map.



Jacob Read, one of Yonkers oldest and respected citizens in the late 1800's describes life in Yonkers from 1829 through 1895 when the interview below was written.  He owned the Yonkers Sugar Refinery for 40 years before selling it in the early 1890's. Mr. Read died in Yonkers, January 1899.













The Alexander Smith and Sons' Carpet Company came to Yonkers in 1865 and at its peak was the largest carpet company in the world employing over 7000 people.  Read its fascinating history by clicking the link below this photograph.


CLICK HERE to read about the History of the Alexander Smith Carpet Factory (once the largest carpet factory in the world), the Moquette Row (the housing built for the workers) and the incredible contributions of the Smith and Cochran Families to the City of Yonkers






287 Palisade Avenue - The residence of Richard Edie Jr. and his wife, the former Priscilla Van Tassel as photographed in 1900.  Richard Edie Jr. was Treasurer and later Chairman of the Board of the Alexander Smith Carpet Factory. He also served as President of the Yonkers Board of Education in the late 1920’s. To this day, there is a scholarship still given to a graduating student of a Yonkers High School in his name.


He died of heart disease in September 1935 at the age of 67. The carpet mills shut down and observed a moment of silence as he was laid to rest. Mrs. Edie died in September of 1947. The home was demolished in the 1960’s and is now the site of a multi-family apartment building.


240 Palisade Avenue - The residence of Dr. Benjamin W. Stilwell as photographed circa 1901. The home was located on the southeast corner of Palisade Avenue and Flagg Street. Read about the life of Dr. Stilwell below the photograph of his residence. 






967 North Broadway - The home of Eva Smith Cochran photographed in 1901

Eva Smith Cochran was one of the true patron saints of Yonkers, having given so many institutions of the city more than $2,000,000 in lasting gifts. The Cochran name remains in many places in the City of Yonkers, even to this day 101 years after her death in 1909. The Cochran's named their residence Duncraggan. The beautiful Victorian home and estate was later sold by Eva's daughter to Samuel Untermeyer their neighbor on the south. Duncraggan at that time was 22 acres. See below what the home looked like and read a little about this incredible woman. She is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Yonkers in the most simple setting. Her estate was valued at the time of her death in 1909 at over 8 million dollars. The mansion has long been demolished, but the stone pillars that once stood at the entry to the estate still bear the Duncraggan name and still stand on either side of the bus shelter in front of St. Johns Hospital (This hospital was just one of her gifts to Yonkers)!




Several pages from her Memorial Book:



Imagine purchasing what would become a treasured national landmark, restoring it and then presenting it to the City of Yonkers as a gift!





Two portraits of Eva Smith Cochran from a privately printed Memorial Book published in 1911.


A small plaque that hangs in St. Johns Church in Getty Square. The words are powerful!


Eva Smith Cochran's simple gravesite in Oakland Cemetery, Yonkers

612 North Broadway, Yonkers NY Photographed in 1900.

At that time the home was owned by Charles A. Fulton, a businessman. He and Theodore Heinrichs of Yonkers were partners in a mining company. This home is a truly spectacular example of Victorian Craftsmanship. Stained and leaded glass, Curved windows, superb stone work. It even has a matching horse stable in the rear of the property. This home and stable still exists today in pristine original condition. Look at the "Then and Now" section of this site to see what it looks like today. 



430 North Broadway in Yonkers - The Magnificent Victorian Residence of Charles Perceval Photographed in 1900. The photos below show this residence in 1900. The second shows the home in 1905 as it was placed for sale. There is a detailed description of the home and its features. Finally below this is a map from 1907 that shows its location on North Broadway. Today the site is occupied by garden apartments. Take a look at the then and now section of this site.





Here are two early 1900's photos of 123 Valentine Lane in South Yonkers.
This was the home of John T. Duff, a Yonkers real estate investor. Mr. Duff also had a hobby raising Chickens on his property.  Take a look at the "Then and Now" section of this website to see what this spot looks like today. 



The photo above shows the homes of John T. Duff (extreme right) and Charles F. Cay along with some distant views of more homes along Hawthorne Avenue circa 1903. The 1907 map below shows the location of these homes. 


View from 147 North Broadway, Yonkers looking West -  Circa 1900
Photograph of the view from the back window of 147 North Broadway, then the home of Robert H. Neville, Yonkers circa 1900. To the left is the African Baptist Church (demolished). The small street is Ashburton Place and in the distance on the right is the spire of the Warburton Avenue Baptist Church (demolished in 1967).



The 1907 map shows the location and owners of the residences in the photo above this map.




Circa --1910 Hudson View Terrace homes newly built off North Broadway near Glenwood Avenue, Yonkers, NY

These homes were listed with Christian Gaul, a local realtor/developer at the turn of the last century. They are all still there today.


1904 Park Hill on the Hudson  - Miss Anne Brown's Highcliffe Hall - School for Girls

This school for girls operated from 1904 to 1906 when Anne Brown retired. The building was demolished years ago.


The map below shows the location of Highcliffe Hall in Park Hill. Its next door neighbor was "The Aerie" later renamed Wallace Lodge. See the two photos below the map for different views of this magnificant building. It too has been demolished.



The property was owned originally by Andrew S. Brownell and his wife Matilda Gwyn Brownell (her nickname was “Tillie”). “The Aerie” was one of the early Park Hill residences. The principals of the American Real Estate Company, the developers of Park Hill, of which Andrew was one of them, built their homes first. Andrew and Edwin K. Martin were principals in the American Investment Union (Andrew was president and Edwin Vice President) which sold real estate stock to get the capital to underwrite the loans which it made to the homebuyers of Park Hill and other developments around the US. Investors got a guaranteed 6% on their money which was secured by the land. Plus they received a pro rata share of any profits which has averaged around 12%.Andrew was also one of the founders of the Yonkers Board of Trade, The Park Hill Country Club, the Park Hill Association and a number of other incorporated organizations.





1869 - The Warburton Avenue Baptist Church - The magnificent $200,000 gift from John Bond Trevor and James Boorman Colgate

Wealthy Victorians had very strong ties to their houses of worship. They believed their wealth was a gift from God and many gave back significantly to their communities  especially through their houses of worship. At that time churches were a central part of society and socialization, so what better way to share than through their churches.  This particular story had a profound effect on the "Village" of Yonkers in 1869 and continues to play an interesting role in the "City" of Yonkers in 2010. The two men gave the land and new building to the church with a number of conditions which are referred to as covenants. Below is covenant #3. They wanted to insure that their gift would be forever. This condition was accepted by the church. 



Read about how the history of this church evolved from a small building on North Broadway behind the stores that are on Warburton Avenue across the street from Philipse Manor. Read about how even when the church moved to its new location, the original church was dismantled and repurposed into a sunday school at another location. Read about how the original location owned by Colgate was then leased to The Womens Christian Temperance Union, a Baptist organization. The story is complex, but a wonderful testament to the foresight of these wealthy, generous and brilliant men. 






North Broadway below Ashburton Avenue circa 1869

Below is a photo of North Broadway in Yonkers looking south. The photo was taken in the late 1860's just south of Ashburton Avenue. On the right is the First Presbyterian Church dedicated in May of 1854. (later destroyed by fire in 1968). On the left are stairs to various residences. Note the group of people on the left and an image of what appears to be a small girl on the right by the fence. Exposure times for these photos were relatively long so in most cases images of people are blurred by movement.


June 1894......
The photo below was the home of Norton P. Otis on Hudson Terrace overlooking the Hudson River in Yonkers, NY photographed on a sunny June day in 1894...One Hundred and Sixteen Years ago! His residence was aptly named "Buena Vista". He was one of two sons of Elisha Graves Otis, the founder of the Otis Elevator Company.


The quality of this "Cabinet Card" Photo is so good that a high resolution scan allows us to look at the family on the rear porch. Mr Otis was married in 1877 and had eight children.  


UPDATES - May 2010

Read an article published in 1899 about the builders and fine homes of the Harriman section of Yonkers (now known as Greystone). Several of these suberb Victorians still exist today in pristine condition. Harriman and Hawley were the builders and they used plans purchased from noted “pattern book” architect, George F. Barber (1858-1915). Special thanks to Chris DiMattei, Massachusetts Architect and Barber researcher for this information.



UPDATES - March 2010

Read an article about how the Yonkers school system made a Prayer, spoken by George Washington in Yonkers  before traveling to the battle of White Plains, the central part of their celebration of Washingtons Birthday in 1895!

CLICK Here to Read the Article

UPDATES - March 2010

A New section has been added describing the history and architectural details of the St. John's Ice Fountain built in 1891. Imagine an "ice fountain" before the age of refrigeration. The story of how this fountain functions and its magnificent embellishments is simply amazing. A Tiffany treasure still exists in Yonkers today (although sadly it simply needs restoration). Read its story and look at the photos of then and now.


ALSO There will be a Tour and lecture about St. Johns Episcopal Church "The Most Interesting 19th Century Church in America" to benefit its preservation. St Johns was founded in 1693! The tour will take place Saturday, May 1 at 4:30 with noted architect and preservationist Stephen F. Byrnes as guest lecturer and tour guide. Attendence is limited so click below now to view details.


CLICK HERE to read the story of the St. John's Ice fountain

CLICK HERE to view information about the Upcoming St. Johns Tour and Lecture

UPDATES - February 2010
A New Photo has been added to the "Railroads" section of this site. Take a look at the photo of the Yonkers Park Railroad station taken in 1897. Yonkers Park was later renamed "Crestwood". 

CLICK HERE to see the Yonkers Park Railroad station in 1897.

Click HERE to Read about Music Hall



For More updates:


We hope you had the opportunity to visit our Victorian Photo Exhibition which was held at Philipse Manor Hall in Yonkers. The exhibition started Saturday March 21, 2009 and ran through May 10, 2009. We had approximately 40 Victorian Era Photos on display in the Gallery. Hopefully we will be invited to conduct another showing this year with different Victorian Era Photos of Yonkers, NY.

CLICK HERE for Philipse Manor Hall's website

CLICK HERE for Information about Philipse Manor Hall on this website

NOTE: ALL PHOTOS ON THIS SITE ARE ©2008™. No unauthorized use is permitted.


Construction circa 1900, Yonkers NY  - From the personal photo album of Frank Burhans


Construction circa 1900, Yonkers NY  - From the personal photo album of Frank Burhans


Construction circa 1900, Yonkers NY  - From the personal photo album of Frank Burhans


Construction circa 1900. Yonkers New York.

From the personal photo album of Frank Burhans


The photo above is from Frank Burhans' personal photo album circa 1903. The house depicted is located in Yonkers, New York.


The photo above is from the photo album of Edith Armstrong, the sister of Edwin Armstrong, the inventor of FM radio.
Photo is of 1040 and 1032 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers near the intersection of Odell Avenue and Warburton Avenue.
This photo was taken shortly after 1902, the year the Armstrong's purchased the house.
Family relations occupied both houses. Notice the huge 45 star flag.
This was the official US flag from 1896 through 1908. 


Warburton Avenue, Yonkers looking north from the intersection of Odell avenue circa 1902.
Photo from the album of Edith Armstrong, sister of Edwin Armstrong, the inventor of FM radio.
This photo was likely taken from the window of 1040 Warburton.


Looking up Warburton Avenue past the intersection of Odell Avenue, Yonkers in 1902.
From the photo album of Edith Armstrong.
Two houses on the right (foreground) still exist today.


Warburton Avenue Yonkers circa 1902. West side of Warburton opposite Odell Avenue.
Today much of this site is occupied by an apartment building.


The Photo abovei is a home on Shonnard Terrace in Northwest Yonkers. This Photo was taken by Frank Burhans in the year 1903.
Interestingly enough the quality of the photo is so excellent that modern technology allows a peak into the windows of this home.
The  photo below reveals what is in one of the windows.


This house was being sold by H. Woodhouse... see the sign in the window


And H. Woodhouse was a developer who lived in this residence at 753 Warburton Avenue. This house still stands

and is very much unchanged. Photo taken approx 1901.

Now ......Please take a look at the wealth of images on this site.
We hope you enjoy the trip back in time!


CLICK HERE for a FREE INSTANT DOWNLOAD of Yonkers Historic Design Guidelines Book published by the Yonkers Landmarks Preservation Board




CLICK HERE to see the next page of photos







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