When Greenacres Neighborhood Association V.P. Barry Meiselman floated the idea of holding the Greenacres 100th birthday bash at the Scarsdale Golf Club, some thought he had gotten too ambitious. After all, neighborhood events are usually held in the social hall at Hitchcock Church for an entry free of $20 a couple -- or often free at the Greenacres field.
Would residents be willing to pay $100 per person for an evening of dinner and dancing at a country club to celebrate their neighborhood? Meiselman, Greenacres Neighborhood Association President Kathy Steves and a dedicated committee took the gamble and the night far exceeded all expectations. The gala was attended by 170 people – more than double the minimum required --- as well as a host of area dignitaries who came out to congratulate Scarsdale’s second-oldest neighborhood association on their success.
Offering proof that Greenacres is the Place to Be, the event drew newcomers, old-timers and everyone in between. The evening had many highlights and here are a few:
- A presentation of the history of Greenacres – see the recap below
- A slide show of the pets of Greenacres including neighborhood dogs and cats
- A serenade from the D.J.
- Moving, grooving and a conga line on the dance floor to tunes ranging from doo-wop to rap.
- Toasts from local politicians who were invited to greet their constituents.
Representative Eliot Engel who is slated to replace Representative Nita Lowey as Scarsdale’s representative in Congress expressed his surprise and delight to find that redistricting had extended his new Congressional District from the Bronx to Scarsdale. In honor of Greenacres’ Centennial he submitted a proclamation to the Congressional Record where it will be posted for posterity.
Similarly, State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins voiced her pleasure in serving Scarsdale. Due to redistricting of the N.Y. State Senate lines, Scarsdale will be now be in the 35th district with Yonkers, Greenburgh and the Rivertowns.
For State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin nothing has changed. A 30+ year resident of Scarsdale, she told the group that she spent her first eight years in Scarsdale in Greenacres on Walworth Avenue and is proud to reside in Scarsdale and represent the Village in the State Assembly
Another proclamation was made by Scarsdale Mayor Miriam Flisser who joked that she always keeps “a proclamation in her car.” She and her husband Harvey Flisser, who just announced his retirement from the Scarsdale Middle School where he taught science for 24 years, enjoyed the festivities and the dance floor. Village Trustees Bob Steves and Kay Eisenman of Greenacres were there to celebrate as well as Stacey Brodsky and Jon Mark who have served as liaisons to the neighborhood association for the Board of Trustees. Also on hand were several past presidents of the Greenacres Association including Lynne Clark, Andrew Sereysky and Deb Pekarek.
County Executive Rob Astorinio stopped by as well to congratulate the group on its success.
Kathy Steves, Barry Meiselman and the members of the Centennial Committee were thrilled with the party calling it “amazing, celebratory and spectacular.” It was a proud night for all who looked back on 100 years and forward to being a part of this very special community in the years to come.
The Greenacres Centennial Committee, shown at right included:
(bottom row: left to right:) Barry Meiselman, Kathy Steves, Ottlilie Jarmel, Joanne Wallenstein, Norm Alterman, Naomi Lipman (middle row: left to right) Mona Longman, Jack Binder, Laura Fratt, Deb Pekarek, Maureen Ryan (top row: left to right) Bob Steves, Jordan Goodman, Sharon Lindsay, Andrew Sereysky, Mark Lewis, Jennifer Constantin, James Carforo. Not pictured: Lynne Clark, Elise Flagg, Karen Ceske, Linda Leavitt, Nora Marino, Deena Rosenthal, Sheryl Braun, Keith Schutzman, Beth Dell Orto, Scott Silberfein, Arthur Yu, Karen Lavi, Kay Eisenman) (Pictured at top: Maureen Ryan and Jordan Goodman)
See our picture gallery here:
Recap of Greenacres History: The Greenacres History Committee, Karen Ceske, Ottilie Jarmel, Deb Pekarek and Joanne Wallenstein (yours truly) created a presentation of the history of Greenacres and here is a summary.
The presentation spans as far back as 1661 when John Richbell traded with the Mohican Indians for the land that is now Scarsdale. In 1910 the history of Greenacres as we now know it began when developer Robert Emmet Farley started buying up area farms to create “Scarsdale Estates” which he later named Greenacres. Initially homes in the area sold for as little as $7,000 in a neighborhood that included sewers, pumped water, electricity and “macadamized” roads. Farley named many of the streets in the area after his family members, secretary and his favorite color, green.
In 1905, developer Cornelius B. Fish went to work on the other side of Post Road and built homes on larger plots, naming the streets after well-known British schools such as Eton, Oxford and Cambridge.
Greenacres might have become part of White Plains if not for the efforts of local residents to rebuff annexation campaigns by White Plains in 1909 and 1911.
Since 1912 the neighborhood association has served an advocate for area interests forcing the removal of a gas station on the Greenacres side of the tracks in 1933 and lobbying to preserve a park on Fountain Terrace that was eventually lost to the development of the Bronx River Parkway in 1974. However, the association has been successful at preserving open space at George Field Park, Red Maple Swamp and plots on Brite Avenue, Brewster Road, Oakstwain and Rugby Roads.
Greeancres' first school began in a private home at the corner of Greenacres and Walworth Avenues in 1915. By November of that year, Scarsdale’s first elementary school was built in the location of the current school on Huntington Road. The small one story building had five classrooms, two play porches and six teachers. Additions were made in 1928, 1958, and in 1965.
The Greenacres Neighborhood Assocation has run successful recreation programs for years and is famous for their July4th celebration and games each year at Greenacres Field. In addition, it hosts a newcomer’s reception, a town hall meeting and a spring fling. Recently the association donated funds to the school to build new basketball courts at Greenacres Field.
This year, a Village-wide historic resources survey has identified several homes in Greenacres and three “historic districts” as worthy of preservation. Other landmarks include the Boniface Water Tower on Garden Road, and a 52” “Greenacres tunnel” which is a storm drain extending from Brewster Road to the Bronx River Parkway that was built in 1939 at a cost of $120,000.
Greenacres has also been home to some very colorful personalities including Dean Rusk, Al Jolson, Roberta Peters, Aaron Sorkin and Irving Picard. Look for the full presentation online soon.