Historical Attitudes toward Development

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    • #1650
      ndembowski
      Keymaster

      I recently posted a bunch of photos and articles to the members area.  The one below may not look like much but I enjoyed the caption.

      I feel like I have had very similar ideas when taking in the vista at Spuyten Duyvil station.  The author’s reflective mood on change and permanence made me think about historical attitudes toward changes in the neighborhood.  The Riverdale Press runs multiple stories per week about some new building going up and some others coming down.  That is a continuation of a conversation that began a lot earlier around how much change can be accommodated without causing congestion, overcrowding, or lack of green spaces.  The Riverdale News in the 1920s printed stories showing a collective anxiety about the possibility of apartment buildings going up in Riverdale:

      And there was a big split in the neighborhood regarding the impact of the Henry Hudson Bridge and Parkway (and yet the author admits that “this topic is not a new one”):

      Fast forward a few decades and the baby boom fueled another round of intense building that got neighborhood folks talking:

      Looking at the Riverdale Press these days you could easily say what a local person wrote 100 years ago: “this topic is not a new one.”

      Photo below: The Bowie Dash residence came down in 2004 to make way for the Waterford Apt. at 3616 Waldo Ave:

       

    • #1651
      Thomas Casey
      Participant

      Note:  The Waterford Apt. and Bowie Dash house was at  3816 Waldo Ave

    • #1652
      ndembowski
      Keymaster

      Thanks, Tom.  You are correct.  Here is a Riverdale Press article that was published at the time.  I believe it was Bowie Dash’s House (the man for whom Dash Place is named after).

      In the article Peter Ostrander says that the house was built before 1910 while Lloyd Ultan thought it was later based on the architecture.  While it does not have the classic Victorian look, Peter was right.  This 1888 map shows one house on the east side of Waldo Avenue (just above the “91”), which is a perfect fit for 3816 Waldo and it is labeled Bowie Dash.  Waldo Hutchins’ houses were both on the west side of the street.

      A local real estate agent took these photos.  The chimney on the left is a clue to its Victorian era construction.

      And what replaced it:

       

    • #1653
      Peter Ostrander
      Moderator

      Thanks for the articles and photos.  I totally agree the house was older than 1910. You could tell just by looking at the construction and style. Having been inside a few times there was no doubt.

      For anyone doing research on a private house in NYC needs to be aware that the City Real Estate records are notoriously wrong.  Many older homes show a  build date of 1920 or as in this case 1910.  They seem to have been a guess on the part of the records department when the files were created.  My own house has a 1920 build date while it can be found on older maps as early as 1884, I  still don’t know  the actual build date.  This is very similar to the Bowie Dash house build misinformation above.

    • #1654
      Thomas Casey
      Participant

      Peter is correct about the NYC records….Many properties have 1898 or 1900 when the records were moved from Westchester County to the Bronx.  However, Westchester County still has their original documents on microfilm and computers.  If you trace out a deed in the Bronx, it may refer you to a name who owned the property sold to the Bronx purchaser.   Armed with that information, it may lead to other prior owners.

    • #1696
      ndembowski
      Keymaster

      Thank you to new forum user, Nefertiti, for sharing this link:

      https://collections.mcny.org/CS.aspx?VP3=SearchResult&VBID=24UP1GMD2J5FO&SMLS=1&RW=1366&RH=625

      There is a nice photo of the Bowie Dash house from the side there (dated circa 1915).

      Interestingly, it is labeled “caretaker cottage.”  Bowie Dash was certainly nobody’s caretaker so the name suggests that the house predates his ownership of it (if the “caretaker cottage” label is accurate).

    • #1697
      Nefertiti
      Participant

      Thanks for posting the photo.  I’m not sure who Bowie Dash was, but I now know not to trust what a photo is labeled!

      All I can find on him is that his business failed in 1880.  Don’t think he became a caretaker after that, though.

       

    • #1698
      Thomas Casey
      Participant

      The NYC muni Photos has labeled the Dash homestead on the Hudson River ( Hudson in background )Dash Homestead Hudson River

    • #1699
      Peter Ostrander
      Moderator

      The picture titles in the collection 0f the MCNY may not be incorrect.  Randall Comfort  wrote a number of books and articles on the Bronx , one on our area ” The Great North Side , or Borough of the Bronx, 1897)”. He also did extensive early photographing of old buildings in the Bronx that were being lost to history Ca. 1890-1910.  From Randal Comfort’s article – Mansion of the Old Bronx . from the 1922 H.C. Brown’s Valentine Manual he wrote:

      The Bowie Dash Mansion

      High on the hills among old Riverdale’s most picturesque glades, the old Bowie Dash Mansion fairly overlooks the world. Dash’s Lane, narrow, steep and winding, which in days past formed the only means of access to this residence, has yielded tot he broad and beautiful Spuyten Duyvil Parkway.  What a contrast! (PO – Manhattan College Pkwy today.)

      Styled “Upper Cortlandt’s” to distinguish it from “Lower Cortlandt’s” in the valley below (PO – the ‘Lower” VC Mansion/VC House Museum is the one in  the park) , the square stone Dash Mansion is said to have been often visited by General Sherman, one of the relatives of the family, while we are told that the late Theodore Roosevelt often played there when a boy.

      The quaint gardener’s cottage on the estate far antedates the residence itself, while close by, between the years of 1776 and 1781, was an extensive Yeager Camp. ( PO- this Hessian Yeager camp was dug by Reginald Pelham Bolton  ca 1913-15. It was  located approx. at corner of 238th St and RIverdale Ave, upon on the  sports field of Fieldston School campus.)

      (PO -, So the cottage and what we believed to be the Dash Mansion on Waldo Ave & 238th St is a good chance that Bowie Dash or a member of the Dash family once owned this old ancient Cottage.  More research is still needed.)

    • #1701
      ndembowski
      Keymaster

      That’s interesting, Peter.  The house on Waldo that was owned by Bowie Dash (and later Zambetti) certainly had the look of a “gardener’s cottage.”  The “Gardener’s Cottage” is also referenced in the Historical Guide to the City of New York here: https://archive.org/details/historicalguide00yorkgoog/page/n225/mode/2up

      For anyone who hasn’t checked out that book, I would highly recommend it as a local history resource.  It includes maps for self-guided walking tours such as the one below.  22 on the map is the Upper Cortlandt mansion house and number 21 is the “Gardener’s Cottage.”

      Although according to the blurb in the book, the cottage was near 238th and Greystone, so yeah, more research needed to really figure it out what exactly was the “gardener’s cottage.”

      Tom, would you mind sending a link to the Dash property that you found on the Hudson?

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