Mead Memorial Chapel, Waccabuc

Photograph by Gray Williams

Historic Properties Listing

PropertyAfrican Cemetery
MunicipalityCity of Rye
Community
Street Number
Street AddressNorth Street

Historic District Name
Local Landmark Status?Yes  08/19/03
Local Landmark District Status?   
National Register District Status?   
County Register Status?   
National Register Status? Yes  10/15/03
National Historic Landmark Status?   
National Historic Landmark District Status?   
State Register Status? Yes  08/19/03
Eligible for National Register?

Owner
Institutional OwnerTown of Rye
Tax Map Available?
Tax Map Image Available?
Tax Section       Tax Block       Tax Lot

Architect
Builder
Building TypeOther (describe)
Building Type, DetailsCemetery
Architectural Style
Architectural Style, Details
Current UseOther (describe)
Current Use, DetailsCemetery
Original UseOther (describe)
Original Use, DetailsCemetery
Structural ConditionFair; Deteriorated
NeighborhoodResidential
Threats to Building
Site IntegrityOriginal Site
Date Moved
Year Built1860
Structural SystemN/A
Structural System, Details
Photograph Available?
Alterations
Date of Alterations

SignificanceThe African Cemetery is a large and intact example of a nineteenth-century African-American burial ground in Westchester County. Established in 1860, with the first burial occurring in 1864, the 1.4-acre African Cemetery is an assemblage of 160 gravestones- 35 of which mark the burial of African-Americans who were veterans of four wars: the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II. The last burial occurred in 1964. Its distinctive character, large size, and high degree of preservation make it a remarkable survivor in Westchester County.
DescriptionThe African Cemetery, established in 1860, is located in the City of Rye. This 1.4-acre cemetery is adjacent to the Greenwood Union Cemetery, which constitutes its northern, southern, and western borders. Both cemeteries are owned and maintained by the Town of Rye. A small seasonal brook and Interstate Highway 95 define the eastern border of the cemetery. There is one main access (dirt) road to the burying ground and it approaches the site from the north. A three-foot-high dry set fieldstone wall frames the site and a deeply weathered wooden gate stands at the entrance. The African Cemetery is a wide expanse of green lawn with gravestones in various states of disrepair. Of the 160 headstones, approximately half have been undermined and are tilted, fallen over, or settled deeply into the ground; the other half are in satisfactory condition. The burying ground includes a variety of professionally carved and dressed stones; some gravesites are notable for multiple family members and 35 indicate that a war veteran is interred. African-American veterans of the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II are buried here. Some non-veteran headstones have inscriptions indicating membership in fraternal orders and labor unions. Two ministers- one a veteran- are also interred here. Government-issued gravestones as well as Grand Army of the Republic Post 378 markers are present. The African Cemetery is shaded and insulated by trees, vines (including poison ivy), and thorny undergrowth.


PropertyBoston Post Road Historic District
MunicipalityCity of Rye
Community
Street Number
Street AddressBoston Post Road

Historic District Name
Local Landmark Status?Yes  01/05/88
Local Landmark District Status?   
National Register District Status? Yes  10/29/82
County Register Status?   
National Register Status?   
National Historic Landmark Status? Yes  
National Historic Landmark District Status?   
State Register Status? Yes  09/22/82
Eligible for National Register?

OwnerVarious
Institutional Owner
Tax Map Available?
Tax Map Image Available?
Tax Section       Tax Block       Tax Lot

ArchitectAlexander Jackson Davis
Builder
Building TypeMixed Use
Building Type, Details
Architectural StyleGothic Revival, Greek Revival
Architectural Style, Details
Current UseOther (describe)
Current Use, DetailsConservation Area, Dwelling, Sport Facility
Original UseOther (describe)
Original Use, DetailsCamp, Cemetery, Road-Related, Single Dwelling
Structural Condition
NeighborhoodResidential
Threats to Building
Site IntegrityOriginal Site
Date Moved
Year Built1838, 1854
Structural SystemVarious
Structural System, Details
Photograph Available?
Alterations
Date of Alterations

SignificanceThe Boston Post Road Historic District in Rye is architecturally, historically, and culturally significant. Included within its boundaries are three stylistically distinctive buildings, sites associated with the nationally prominent Jay family, a tidal wetlands area unique to the Long Island Sound Shore of Westchester County. Individuals of note connected with the district are John Jay, first chief justice of the United States and second governor of New York state; the well-known nineteenth-century architect Alexander Jackson Davis; and members of the Parsons family, who have contributed much to the development of the local community. The three major buildings, representing the Gothic and Greek Revival styles, retain their original character. The landscape, vistas, and natural habitat remain in many cases as they were in the eighteenth century, when the land was first settled.
DescriptionThe Boston Post Road Historic District in Rye is illustrative of the nineteenth-century growth of this lower Westchester County community and includes resources of architectural and cultural significance. Bordered on the west by the Boston Post Road, the district’s boundaries are Long Island Sound on the east and single-family residential neighborhoods. Within the three hundred acres of the district are three major, stylistically distinctive buildings, twenty-two additional buildings, and Rye City Golf Club, the historic Jay family cemetery, and the extensive natural area of the Marshlands Conservancy. Most of the land within the district’s boundaries remains open and the exteriors of the major structures are largely unaltered. Alansten, one of the major buildings, is a Greek Revival residence constructed in 1838 of white-painted clapboard, three stories high, nine bays wide, and three bays deep. It sits on a fieldstone foundation and the exterior walls are brick filled. Lounsberry, the estate north of Alansten, also has a Greek Revival main residence. Edward Lamb Parsons built the oldest visible portion in 1838. Of gray painted wood with white trim, the imposing residence is three stories high, eleven bays wide, and three bays deep on a stone foundation. Whitby, the Gothic Revival structure now used by the Rye Golf Club clubhouse, was designed by Alexander Jackson Davis for William Chapman and completed in 1854. Of gray stone quarried in Greenwich, Connecticut and possessing a slate roof, the main block of the building is two stories high and nine bays wide and six bays deep. For more information on the Boston Post Road Historic District refer to the files maintained by the Westchester County Historical Society.


PropertyPlayland Amusement Park
MunicipalityCity of Rye
Community
Street Number
Street AddressPlayland Parkway

Historic District Name
Local Landmark Status?Yes  01/05/88
Local Landmark District Status?   
National Register District Status?   
County Register Status?   
National Register Status? Yes  07/04/80
National Historic Landmark Status? Yes  
National Historic Landmark District Status?   
State Register Status? Yes  06/23/80
Eligible for National Register?

Owner
Institutional OwnerWestchester County
Tax Map Available?
Tax Map Image Available?
Tax Section       Tax Block       Tax Lot

ArchitectWalker and Gillette
Builder
Building TypeOther (describe)
Building Type, DetailsEntertainment/Recreation
Architectural StyleArt Deco
Architectural Style, Details
Current UseOther (describe)
Current Use, DetailsEntertainment/Recreation
Original UseOther (describe)
Original Use, DetailsEntertainment/Recreation
Structural ConditionGood; Fair
Neighborhood
Threats to Building
Site IntegrityOriginal Site
Date Moved
Year Built1923
Structural System
Structural System, Details
Photograph Available?Yes
Alterations
Date of Alterations

SignificancePlayland Amusement Park in Rye, a two hundred and eighty acre complex of amusements, concessions, and water-oriented facilities well integrated with landscaping and the natural environment, is architecturally and historically significant. Located on a site long associated with recreational use, the complex was developed in the 1920s by the Westchester County Park Commission and was the first totally planned amusement park in America. Its basic design and much of its distinctive Art Deco architecture remain unaltered. Playland was the unique result of the combined efforts of an enlightened governmental body and the talents of many creative individuals, and is the prototype of the contemporary theme park.
DescriptionPlayland Amusement Park is a two hundred and eighty acre county-owned site on Long Island Sound in the City of Rye. Contained within the Park's boundaries are architecturally significant buildings; many amusement rides and concessions; an Entrance Plaza with a fountain; a central landscaped Mall; a freshwater swimming pool and two beaches totally 7,900 feet of shoreline; a man-made eighty-acre lake; and one hundred twenty-two acres of undeveloped bird and wildlife habitat. Opened to the public in 1928, Playland, the first totally planned amusement park in the country, was the result of the combined efforts of the Westchester County Park Commission and its staff, and the architectural team of A. Stewart Walker and Leon Gillette. The Park’s basic plan and its main buildings, most of which were designed in the distinctive Art Deco style, remain basically intact. For a detailed description of the structures within Playland refer to the files maintained by the Westchester County Historical Society.


PropertyRye Post Office
MunicipalityCity of Rye
Community
Street Number41
Street AddressPurdy Avenue

Historic District Name
Local Landmark Status?Yes  05/11/89
Local Landmark District Status?   
National Register District Status?   
County Register Status?   
National Register Status? Yes  05/11/89
National Historic Landmark Status?   
National Historic Landmark District Status?   
State Register Status? Yes  05/11/89
Eligible for National Register?

Owner
Institutional OwnerUnited States Postal Service, Northeast Region
Tax Map Available?
Tax Map Image Available?
Tax Section       Tax Block       Tax Lot

ArchitectLouis A. Simon
Builder
Building TypeGovernment
Building Type, Details
Architectural StyleColonial Revival
Architectural Style, Details
Current UseGovernment
Current Use, Details
Original UseGovernment
Original Use, Details
Structural ConditionGood
NeighborhoodCommercial
Threats to Building
Site IntegrityOriginal Site
Date Moved
Year Built1935-6
Structural SystemMetal
Structural System, Details
Photograph Available?
AlterationsThe original teller windows have been slightly altered. The doors into the building have been changed to modern doors.
Date of Alterations

SignificanceThe Rye Post Office, constructed in 1935-6, is architecturally significant as an intact representative example of the federal architecture erected as part of the public works projects initiated by the United State government during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Its simplified, yet refined, design illustrates forms and decoration derived from American Colonial period architecture. The Colonial Revival style had become the accepted style for most post offices as well as other federally sponsored public architecture during the 1920s, 1930s, and early 1940s. Classical forms, such as the pilastered building corners, limestone cornice and decorative door and window surrounds of the Rye Post Office, were employed in other post office designs of this period. It is noteworthy for its well-developed classical limestone ornamentation. In addition to its architectural importance, the Rye Post Office is artistically significant in that it contains a well-preserved mural executed in 1938 by Guy Pene du Bois under the auspices of the United States Treasury Department’s Section of Fine Arts.
DescriptionThe Rye Post Office stands on the north side of Purdy Avenue at the corner of Third Street and is a few blocks from Purchase Street, the main commercial street in Rye. It is set back from the street and landscaped with foundation shrubs and a mature ornamental tree. The Rye Post Office is a one-story, steel frame building on a limestone foundation. The exterior walls are clad in red brick and laid in Flemish bond. Rectangular in shape, the post office extends eight bays to the rear and features a slightly recessed five-bay rear section that defines the interior workroom space. The building's front section is five bays wide, has a flat roof and is embellished with a limestone cornice. The rear section is also surmounted with a flat roof and it detailed with limestone coping. The main façade of the post office is symmetrically composed around a central, recessed entrance with broad limestone surround and shallow decorated cornice. Entry to the building is through a pair of modern doors. The original transom is intact. It consists of ten fixed panes with a wrought-iron screen on the exterior. The L-shaped lobby is entered through a metal glazed vestibule. The lobby encompasses four of the five bays of the main façade with the postmaster’s office occupying the southwest corner. The original interior is almost completely intact. There is a speckled black marble finish and the ceiling is plaster. The floors are finished with a pinkish-beige terrazzo with brass joints. There is a mural above the postmaster's office entitled "John Jay at His Home" painted by Guy Pene De Bois in 1938. For more details on the Rye Post Office refer to the files maintained by the Westchester County Historical Society.


PropertyRye Town Park, Bathing Complex, and Oakland Beach
MunicipalityCity of Rye
Community
Street Number
Street AddressOakland Beach and Forest Avenue

Historic District Name
Local Landmark Status?Yes  08/02/88
Local Landmark District Status?   
National Register District Status?   
County Register Status?   
National Register Status? Yes  05/09/03
National Historic Landmark Status?   
National Historic Landmark District Status?   
State Register Status? Yes  03/06/03
Eligible for National Register?

Owner
Institutional OwnerRye Town Park Commission
Tax Map Available?
Tax Map Image Available?
Tax Section       Tax Block       Tax Lot

ArchitectUpjohn and Conable, Brinley and Holbrook (landscape)
Builder
Building TypeOther (describe)
Building Type, DetailsRecreation
Architectural StyleSpanish Colonial
Architectural Style, Details
Current UseOther (describe)
Current Use, DetailsRecreation
Original UseOther (describe)
Original Use, DetailsRecreation
Structural ConditionFair
Neighborhood
Threats to Building
Site IntegrityOriginal Site
Date Moved
Year Built1909-1925
Structural SystemMasonry Load-Bearing
Structural System, Details
Photograph Available?
Alterations
Date of Alterations

SignificanceThe Rye Town Park, Bathing Complex, and Oakland Beach is significant in the areas of architecture, community planning and development, recreation, and landscape architecture as a distinctive and largely intact example of an early 20th century recreational complex on Long Island Sound. Sited on a large beach-front parcel set aside in the late 19th century for the use of less affluent vacationers, the park and beach were developed between 1909 and 1925 as a regional recreation park for the use of the town and city of Rye and nearby villages. The park can be seen as a product of early 20th century park reform and the Regional Planning Movement, which sought to offset the negative effects of urbanization through civic improvement and the provision of morally and physically sustaining recreational opportunities. The Bathing Pavilion, shelters, bathhouse and restaurant, designed in the Spanish Mission style, evoke the feeling of a resort or vacation experience. The Park and Bathing Complex is the product of a comprehensive planning program in 1909 and was designed by two notable firms: landscape architects, Brinley and Holbrook and architects, Upjohn and Conable. Maintaining loyal to its original purpose of providing recreational opportunities for the local population, the Rye Town Park, Bathing Complex, and Oakland Beach is a distinctive example representative of its social, historical, and architectural contexts.
DescriptionThe Rye Town Park, Bathing Complex, and Oakland Beach is situated on 28.1 acres of rolling terrain along the shore of the Long Island Sound in the city of Rye. The park is bounded to the north by Rye Beach Avenue, to the south by Dearborn Avenue, to the west by Forrest Avenue and to the east by the publicly accessible 34.5 acre Oakland Beach, stretching 1200' in length. Adjacent to the east is the beach area of Playland Amusement Park. Character defining landscape features of the park include stone walls, a terrace overlook, a stone bridge, light fixtures, staircases and ramps, pathways, trees, plantings, lawns, a small lake and Oakland Beach. There are 17 building and structures within the park. The cohesive collection of buildings, designed in the Spanish Mission Style, define the character and identity of the recreational Bathing Complex. The Bathing Pavilion has a 2-_ story central volume flanked by two four-story towers: there are one-story additions at the rear and both ends. All building facades are finished with rough cream-colored stucco, available visible evidence suggests that the construction is brick. Roofs are all red clay tile, "mission-style," except for the flat second-story porch roof that has been covered with asphalt roll roofing. The original copper gutters remain. The deep roof overhangs are supported on exposed stained wood rafters, carved at the ends in an ornamental profile. The main façade has a triple arcaded central entrance porch with three sets of paneled double doors. For more information on the Rye Town Park and its various structures refer to the files maintained by the Westchester County Historical Society.


PropertySquare House (Widow Haviland's Tavern)
MunicipalityCity of Rye
Community
Street Number1
Street AddressPurchase Street @ Boston Post Road

Historic District Name
Local Landmark Status?Yes  01/05/88
Local Landmark District Status?   
National Register District Status?   
County Register Status?   
National Register Status? Yes  04/16/74
National Historic Landmark Status?   
National Historic Landmark District Status?   
State Register Status? Yes  06/23/80
Eligible for National Register?

Owner
Institutional OwnerCity of Rye
Tax Map Available?
Tax Map Image Available?
Tax Section       Tax Block       Tax Lot

ArchitectUnknown
BuilderUnknown
Building TypeSingle Family Dwelling, Inn, Tavern
Building Type, Details
Architectural StyleOther (describe)
Architectural Style, DetailsFarmhouse
Current UseOther (describe)
Current Use, DetailsHouse Museum
Original UseSingle Family Dwelling, Inn, Tavern
Original Use, Details
Structural ConditionExcellent
NeighborhoodCommercial
Threats to Building
Site IntegrityOriginal Site
Date Moved
Year Built1730
Structural SystemWood Frame, Interlocking Joints
Structural System, Details
Photograph Available?Yes
AlterationsThe Square House has been restored as an historic house museum by the Rye Historical Society.
Date of Alterations

SignificanceA good example of the vernacular architecture of 18th-century southeastern New York, the wood-frame Square House is a rare tangible reminder of the early agricultural settlement of the suburban community now known as Rye. Simple in style yet substantial in dimension, the structure achieved prominence ca. 1760-1830 as an inn on the Boston Post Road. Ownership information from the Rye Historical Society's website: The property dates back to 1675 when the farmer Jacob Pierce was its owner. The present building was erected in 1730 by Peter Brown, a miller. A succession of owners and occupants followed and in 1770 Ebenezer Haviland purchased the property. After his death in the Revolution, his widow, Tamar maintained the property as a tavern. The Square House ceased to be a public house in 1830. In 1903, it was purchased by John E. Parsons, William H. Parsons and John Howard Whittemore who restored it and offered the building to the Village of Rye. In 1964 the Square House was opened to the public as a museum.
DescriptionBuilt beside the old Boston Post Road, the Square House faces the village green at the intersection of the Post Road and Purchase Street. Two-and-a-half stories in heights, the gambrel-roofed structure is composed of wood frame, resting upon a fieldstone foundation, and sheathed by shingles on the east, north, and part of the west elevations. The remaining exterior walls are covered with clapboards. A one-story veranda, delineated by six slender, octagonal columns, extends the length of the east (front) elevation, and one-and-one-half story wings mark the west and south elevations. Five bays in length and three in width, the main mass of the Square House appears to have been erected in at least two stages. The southern three bays, including the main entrance occupying the central of the five bays, constitutes the earlier portion, erected around a large central chimney stack. The northern portion, distinguished by its clapboard sheathing, its two interior end chimneys, and the large assembly room on the second floor, was added presumably to accommodate the clientele of Haviland’s or Penfield’s Inn. The exterior remains essentially unchanged since the mid-18th - mid 19th century.


PropertyTimothy Knapp House and Milton Cemetery
MunicipalityCity of Rye
Community
Street Number262
Street AddressRye Beach Avenue @ Milton Road; Milton Road

Historic District Name
Local Landmark Status?Yes  01/05/88
Local Landmark District Status?   
National Register District Status?   
County Register Status?   
National Register Status? Yes  06/14/82
National Historic Landmark Status?   
National Historic Landmark District Status?   
State Register Status? Yes  04/09/82
Eligible for National Register?

Owner
Institutional OwnerRye Historical Society (House) and City of Rye (Cemetery)
Tax Map Available?
Tax Map Image Available?
Tax Section       Tax Block       Tax Lot

ArchitectUnknown
BuilderUnknown
Building TypeSingle Family Dwelling, Cemetery
Building Type, Details
Architectural StyleSalt Box
Architectural Style, Details
Current UseOther (describe)
Current Use, DetailsHistorical Society, Cemetery
Original UseSingle Family Dwelling, Cemetery
Original Use, Details
Structural ConditionGood; Fair
NeighborhoodResidential
Threats to Building
Site IntegrityOriginal Site
Date Moved
Year Built1670, 1750
Structural SystemPost-and-Beam
Structural System, Details
Photograph Available?
AlterationsThe house has three twentieth-century additions: a greenhouse and an aviary on the east and a one-story fieldstone and white-shingled studio wing with an interior entrance porch on the north. The house recently underwent renovations, which were completed in 2002.
Date of Alterations

SignificanceThe Knapp House and nearby Milton Cemetery are historically significant and recall Rye's early settlement and growth. The Knapp House is the oldest extant residence in the city and the cemetery is Rye's first public burying ground. The original house was standing by 1670 and it faced Rye’s first established road. Three additions constructed in the late seventeenth, mid-eighteenth, and the twentieth centuries have enlarged the building considerably. Numerous original and period details survive intact. The house was built on land once owned by one of three original proprietors of Rye. Only five families have owned the property since 1663. A few of the house’s eighteenth-century inhabitants are buried in the cemetery across the street. The Knapp House and Milton Cemetery have figured prominently in the community’s development.
DescriptionThe seventeenth-century Knapp House in Rye is located at the intersection of Milton Road and Rye Beach Avenue, two of the community's earliest thoroughfares. Across the street is the Milton Cemetery, Rye’s oldest burying ground. Two and one-half stories high, five bays wide, and three bays deep, the main section of the Knapp House faces south. Constructed with a fieldstone foundation and sheathed in a combination of square shingles, round-butt shingles, and clapboards, the house is painted white with green shutters. The gable roof, which slopes back to a saltbox configuration over the eighteenth-century addition, is covered with asphalt shingles and has a rectangular central brick chimney. On the main façade, a veranda extends across the building; its roof also covered with asphalt shingles, is supported by eight fluted Doric columns. Fenestration on this section consists of rectangular windows of the six-over-six type. Interior elements and details are illustrative of the early initial construction and physical history of the house. The cellar has fieldstone walls laid up with lime mortar. Beams are hand-hewn, and some retain their bark. The Milton Cemetery, originally part of the Timothy Knapp property, is now owned and maintained by the City of Rye and no longer in use. A property of approximately one acre in size, the burying ground is fenced on the north and south, bordered by Blind Brook on the west, and partially enclosed on the east by a combination of hedges and sections of fence with stone pillars at the entrance. Stones in the cemetery are of a variety of materials and are in various conditions. For more information on the Timothy Knapp House and Milton Cemetery refer to the files maintained by the Westchester County Historical Society.


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